Health and safety in gastronomy – learn the most important rules

Health and safety in gastronomy - learn the most important rules

Failure to comply with health and safety regulations in catering can directly affect the health and even life of customers and employees. Failure to apply the rules may also expose owners to the need to close the premises. Find out what are the most important health and safety regulations in gastronomy.

Health and safety in gastronomy – learn the most important rules

Basic health and safety regulations in gastronomy

The obligations of the employee and the employer are laid down by the legislator, among others, in the Act of August 25, 2006 on food and nutrition safety, the Regulation of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of September 26, 1997 on general provisions on health and safety at work and in the Regulation of the Minister of Health of on April 26, 2004 on hygiene and sanitary requirements in plants producing or marketing foodstuffs.

The basic provisions include the obligation to regularly inspect the technical condition of the building, equipment and ventilation. It is also important to equip the premises with basic personal protective equipment, to provide first aid kits or fire extinguishers in easily accessible places. Each employee starting work in the premises must undergo initial training in health and safety in gastronomy. Periodic refresher training should also take place on a regular basis. Each employed person must have the necessary qualifications to work in the kitchen – medical examinations and a certificate for sanitary and epidemiological purposes. According to health and safety at work, in the kitchen, each employee is required to maintain an appropriate level of hygiene, in particular: short (preferably unpainted) nails, reporting illness to the employer, frequent washing and disinfection of hands and work tools. The employer is obliged to keep a register of accidents and regularly monitor the level of occupational health and safety in the company. It is also worth using health and safety audits, which are carried out by professionals.

Zasady BHP w kuchni

In order to introduce health and safety rules to the workplace, it is best to write down all the basic duties of employees and post them in a prominent place in the form of regulations that each employee must read before starting work. Its basic provisions include the obligation to:

regular inspection of the technical condition of equipment, machines and tools,
keeping the workplace clean,
keeping the face, body and hands clean,
using personal protective equipment and changing or covering shoes,
Being vigilant while processing food with sharp tools or high temperature,
removing jewelry and covering hair,
reporting defects to the employer.

Organization of a workplace in gastronomy - additional tips

The organization of a workplace in gastronomy requires special attention. All kitchen utensils, tools and rooms must be kept clean. Food must be refrigerated, if required. There must be thermometers in the refrigerators to control the temperature. Items that have already passed their use-by date should be discarded immediately. They should not be stored near the workplace to minimize the risk of confusion.

The employee is obliged to maintain the workplace in appropriate, hygienic conditions. However, the employer must regularly check whether the health and safety rules are complied with. Since the health and safety rules in catering require the employee to use personal protective equipment, and the employer is obliged to provide them, it is also worth getting acquainted with the set of necessary protective measures and appropriate employee equipment. Among them, you can distinguish overalls or aprons, head and hand protection and appropriate footwear.

Protective clothing

Workers must be provided with coveralls or aprons. They are extremely important in terms of protecting employees against burns or contamination of clothes, as well as for sanitary and hygienic reasons. They prevent threads, decorations or fragments of employees’ private clothing from getting into the prepared meals. Protective clothing sold by professional producers is tailored to the specifics of working in the kitchen. Disposable aprons can be antistatic, have welts and are made of various materials. For the distribution of disposable clothes, it is worth providing the workplace with special dispensers. This will keep them clean and prevent many people from touching one protective product. It is also possible to obtain reusable protective clothing that will be properly cared for and cleaned for many years.

Head protection

Head protection prevents hair from getting into meals, which could effectively discourage customers from visiting the premises. In terms of head protection, we can choose from protective caps, balaclavas, masks and caps. Due to the nature of work in the kitchen, caps and caps are most often used. Balaclavas and masks are usually used in food packaging. Protective caps are an excellent choice for employees who, in addition to working with food, also work with the client. They will fulfill their function well, they are more aesthetic than caps and you can put your logo or company name on them.

Hand protection

The level and type of protection of employees’ hands in the kitchen is closely related to their scope of duties. Rubber gloves are suitable for cleaning and washing equipment. For working with cutting tools, knives and saws, metal protective gloves will be a good solution. Thanks to them, the risk of dangerous accidents at work is significantly reduced. Such gloves are light, hygienic, equipped with additional fasteners. They meet all technological and safety standards. If the employee deals directly with the preparation of meals or has contact with the client, he should wear latex gloves. This significantly affects customer satisfaction and their trust in the premises. This should be an obligation wherever, in addition to preparing meals, employees sell, for example, ready-made pastries, drinks or fruit at the checkout.

Leg protection

Adequate leg protection can be provided in various ways. By choosing foil protectors for private shoes of employees, we will ensure very good hygienic conditions. However, they have slightly lower safety parameters than, for example, special shoes. Kitchen work shoes come in various forms – high, low, slip-on and even flip-flops. Such footwear has a non-slip sole and can be equipped with a toe cap. You should decide on footwear with toecaps if there is also a food warehouse next to the kitchen. Appropriate footwear ensures not only safety and hygiene, but also comfort. It will take care of the comfort and backbone of employees. Incorrectly chosen shoes can cause pain, and in the long run – degenerative diseases.