Welcome back! This week’s blog is all about kitchen safety. I’m going to make sure you know how to stay safe when cleaning any kitchen environment while adhering to all rules and regulations when it comes to infection control.
My guide will give you everything you need to know to stay on top of the catering game.
Be safe in the kitchen
Although cleanliness is one of the most important aspects of a kitchen environment you must also consider the different elements of cleaning that may present a risk to not only yourself but others around you too.
Knives should always be carried by the handle with your arm straight down close to your body or if you have a few, use a basket or deep tray to carry them. Knives should be washed separately and never left to soak in the sink.
Ideally staff should be trained in the safe processes for cleaning sharp items to reduce the risk of hand injuries.
The same procedures as outlined for cleaning knives apply when cleaning glass, but in addition, if a glass item accidently breaks during washing, the sink should be drained completely and the glass removed.
If possible a dustpan and brush should be used to avoid any cuts and when available staff should wear PVC or canvas gloves.
All waste should be removed from the kitchen area as soon as possible with sharp or broken items placed in separate marked containers.
You should never attempt to burn waste unless you have proper access to a specifically designed incinerator and even then precautions should be made to ensure the waste isn’t flammable or contain any flammable chemicals.
All electrical elements in a kitchen environment must be maintained and repaired by qualified electricians. Before cleaning you should test all equipment and check all electrical parts are in perfect condition.
If you do spot any faults they should be marked as “Out of Order” and placed somewhere secure. Anything that is out of use for a significant length of time should be unplugged and removed from the kitchen area with its wires and cables mounted correctly out of the way.
Appliances that are being used should be monitored for a change in performance and if you notice a “fishy” smell during use, you should treat it as faulty.
Double check when dealing with gas
Remember to make sure all gas taps are completely switched off during cleaning and think twice when cleaning around these valves to make sure you don’t accidently switch them on.
If you smell gas during cleaning you must raise the alarm and leave the building immediately.
Don’t go over the top
Your kitchen and catering environment may be on different levels of a building so when cleaning stairways, ensure banisters and handrails are in good condition and never attempt to stretch across a stairway.
All equipment and products used during cleaning should be kept to a minimum and never left unattended. Take care when cleaning unguarded openings to a floor such as drains or manholes and use cleaning warning signs to close off the area for extra safety.
Don’t overload yourself
You and your staff should be trained in the safe Manual Handling techniques specific to their required tasks.
When possible, try and use a trolley to transport goods around the kitchen as a safer alternative to lifting and carrying. If the products you are moving restrict your view, ask a colleague to help you get from A to B.
For more information on Manual Handling, keep your eyes peeled for a very special blog coming soon.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)
No guide to kitchen safety or hygiene would be complete without mentioning HACCP.
HACCP is a Food Safety methodology that relies on the identification of Critical Control Points (CCP’s) in food production and preparation processes. These are monitored to ensure that food is safe for consumption. (Don’t worry, it sounds more complicated than it is!)
First things first, identify any potential hazards in the kitchen that may cause harm and then identify the risks of how it could actually harm someone. Once these are noted and identified, measures can be put in place to control the risk.
Here’s a quick example:
Salmonella, which is commonly found on raw chicken, is classed as a hazard. If the chicken is then either undercooked or stored incorrectly bacteria will thrive and multiply creating the risk of someone becoming ill. To control this, the chicken must be stored at the right temperature and cooked thoroughly.
That’s all for now folks but come back soon for a blog on kitchen hygiene with everything you need to know on how to keep kitchens spick and span!
In the mean time, get in touch with me on my social media pages if you have any burning questions on kitchen safety.