The employer is obliged to provide all employees with appropriate protective clothing. For this purpose, foil clothing, caps and disposable gloves or reusable items can be useful, which can protect people working in the kitchen from spilling hot liquids on themselves or from being cut with a sharp instrument. It will also be important to change your shoes each time you enter the kitchen. Leg protection is important not only because of heavy and sharp objects and the risk of slipping, but also because it protects against the development of degenerative diseases and chronic back pain.
Appropriate hygiene and cleaning of the workplace each time after finishing work are extremely important for the safety of both employees and potential restaurant customers. Uncleaned tools can cause food spoilage faster or poison people who eat the food prepared with them. Always clean the tools after cooking. Disinfecting them every time is also a good idea.
In addition to wearing appropriate protective clothing, employees should be properly prepared for work – women, if they do not use gloves, cannot have long or painted nails. Jewelry should also be removed, and work clothes, if reusable, should comply with the HACCP good practice group. It should not have pockets or elements that could fall off and end up in the food. It must be brightly colored so that any dirt can be seen immediately. Special emphasis should be placed on skillful hand washing before and after work, and – in particular – after visiting the bathroom. When an employee is sick, he should inform his employer immediately.
Although we do not always have an influence on the layout of the building itself and the way it is arranged, there are some very easy to implement variants that can significantly facilitate the use of the kitchen space. Sometimes it is enough to think carefully about the arrangement of appliances, machines, countertops and shelves. There are different types of kitchens – L-shaped, U-shaped, G-shaped, as well as single-row and double-row. In small kitchens, the L-type layout will work, while in larger kitchens it will be better to opt for a one-row or two-row layout. The U or G shape limits the ability of several employees to move freely in the room at the same time.
Health and safety in the kitchen clearly defines the rules for dealing with hot or extremely cold substances, as well as mechanical processing of food. All employees who carry out it should be especially careful and be properly equipped for work by the employer, who also regularly assesses the occupational risk. For people who have long-term contact with moisture or cleaning agents and detergents, sleeves will be useful. Dishes during frying, cooking or baking are never left unchecked, in the event of any accidents an appropriate protocol should be drawn up.
- Each employee should have a valid sanitary-epidemiological certificate and a state of health that allows them to work in the kitchen.
- The kitchen, as well as the rooms where food is served, must be adequately ventilated.
- All refrigerators and cold rooms where food is stored should be equipped with a thermometer.
- Do not leave any objects, machines or carts in the communication routes on the premises of the plant.
- It is a good idea to regularly check cables, plugs and sockets located in the kitchen.
- It is a good idea to appoint a person to ensure that the floor in the workplace is dry and free of grease.
- There should be designated areas in or around the building for eating, changing, leaving private belongings and smoking.
- Expired products are immediately thrown away so that they cannot be confused with fresh products. The shelf life of the stored food should also be monitored constantly.
- People who are serving or delivering food may be provided with caps instead of caps.
If we are not sure whether all health and safety rules have been met in a given place, it is worth contacting an external company that carries out health and safety audits. Then, without any legal consequences, any irregularities can be detected and corrected before an unforeseen event occurs, which may later generate many problems at various levels. During the OHS audit, the condition of machines, buildings, installations, the level of training and preparation of employees for work, as well as their compliance with formal requirements are checked, among others. The method of keeping documentation by the employer and the degree of providing the necessary equipment to employees by the employer is also checked. The necessary protective clothing and accessories adapted for use in the HoReCa industry can be found in the offer of Global Food Hygiene.