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26 Jun

Food Handlers & the Health Hazards to Watch-out for!

 

A kitchen is one of the busiest and most chaotic areas in the restaurant. The staff working in the kitchen is prone to many hazards. The kitchens are usually stuffed and cramped leading to the employees open to many risks. Recognizing these hazards and working towards actively implementing safety measures will ensure the safety of the employees. The employer should advise the employees regarding health and safety in the kitchen workplace and give them tips for healthy kitchen.

 

There are a lot of causes that lead to food safety hazards in a restaurant. For instance, the restaurant floors are usually slippery and greasy and since the staff is usually running on a clock, they have to get in and around the kitchen in a hurry, often carrying heavy vessels. Slippery floors can lead them to fall which can be dangerous. Having sturdy vessels, carts with wheels to move heavy things around, you can make it mandatory to wear non-skid footwear to ensure the utmost safety of your employees.

 

Kitchens often have huge equipment and machinery that deal with searing and cutting the foods which could lead to potential harmful circumstances. In order to avoid these, the staff and the chefs need to be adequately trained, signs above certain machinery can also be helpful. Crowded and cramped workspaces can often increase the risk of accidents, make sure your kitchen is clutter-free and that the staff can move around easily.

 

Kitchen staff often has to work with hot liquids and chemicals which can spill and lead to burns or with sharp blades and knives leading to cuts. Ensure that they use heat proof gloves and full sleeve chef jackets. They need to also have quick access to side towels, aprons and a first aid kit. Giving healthy cooking tips and techniques to your staff is an effective way to avoid  kitchen hazards and ensure kitchen safety.

 

Food handlers also need to practise proper hygiene to keep away health hazards. Maintaining personal hygiene for food handlers is  essential. Proper hygiene can prevent food poisoning. Maintaining a proper hygiene promotes a good business too.

There are certain important measures need to be taken by the food handler like wearing proper gloves, changing them as regularly as washing your hands, washing their hands immediately after touching their nose, hair, mouth or clothes. Never to touch the food without washing your hands because otherwise you transfer all the germs from your hands into the food which can lead to food poisoning. If a cook is sick, make sure they don’t report to work to avoid transfer of bacteria into the food. This is not only harmful for the customers but also for the business.

 

Other personal hygiene tips that a food handler needs to undertake are to thoroughly drying your hands after washing, never to chew gum, spit or smoke anywhere near the food is made. Never to cough or sneeze where the food is stored or prepared. Always wear clean jackets/ aprons and keep your personal clothing and belongings away from where the food is prepared. Avoid using nail polish or wearing jewelry when preparing food. The employer can also conduct regular food handler health check ups.

 

Ensuring that your staff is practising proper food handling and hygiene is of utmost importance, the staff needs to be properly trained in the same. Doing this and exercising safety measures to avoid dangerous accidents in the kitchen workplace can a long way.

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