Top 10 Commercial Kitchen Safety Do's and Don'ts

Creating a safe working environment is essential in any commercial kitchen in order to offer a comprehensive range of safety, cleaning, and compliance services and avoid causing an accident or subjecting your staff or customers to a bout of food poisoning, allergic reactions, and other health risks. 

There are lots of steps you need to take in order to ensure safety and hygiene rules in the kitchen. Here are the top 10 safety tips for your commercial kitchen.

Commercial Kitchen Safety
Commercial Kitchen Safety Tips

Safe & Sound: The Ten Most Important Do’s & Don'ts for Commercial Kitchen Safety

Working in a commercial kitchen involves several hazards and risks, whether it’s concerning fire or sharp objects. Workers from restaurants reported over 93,000 non-fatal injuries in the year 2019 alone. Kitchen safety and hygiene rules are the key elements to the success of any good restaurant business. Injuries in the commercial kitchen remain a challenge to business owners despite improved standards of safety and stringent protocols being enforced. While following local health codes and OSHA guidelines is imperative, it is also essential to stick to the basics of working in a commercial kitchen. 

We list the most common dos and don’ts to help you and your staff avoid accidents and injuries. Avoiding workplace accidents will help you save costs, and will also enable your staff to lead fulfilling and safe professional lives.

Commercial Kitchen Safety: The Dos

Here are the ten most important tips to follow to further your commercial kitchen safety standards:

   1. Institute regular handwashing

Washing hands is essential to maintaining a sanitary work environment in a commercial kitchen. It helps you avoid cross-contamination and food poisoning. Promote handwashing with hot water and soap at regular intervals.

  2. Focus on knife safety

Instruct your staff to maintain sharp knives in the kitchen at all times. Blunt knives are the prime cause of injuries in the kitchen. Order your staff to discard all knives that show signs of rust, and ensure they are cleaned after each use.

  3. Wear appropriate clothing

Use personal protective clothing like aprons, gloves, and jackets whenever using potentially dangerous equipment, and make sure your staff avoids loose and baggy clothing while working in the kitchen.

  4. Service equipment on time

Service all commercial kitchen equipment regularly. Poorly maintained pieces of equipment are major hazards to commercial kitchen safety, putting your establishment at risk.

  5. Maintain safe storage

Ensure all of your restaurant’s raw materials, spare parts, and accessories are stored in cool, dry, and safe locations. Perishables should be stored in quality commercial refrigeration units to avoid losses and food poisoning risks.

  6. Place washcloths, towels & pot racks away from the stove

Avoid placing cleaning accessories such as towels, rags & washcloths, and storage units like pot holders & racks near the stove, as these are made of flammable materials.

   7. Practice fire safety

Most fires start through a source in the kitchen. Having a fire extinguisher to deal with any fires that may occur during operations is quintessential. Focus on suffocating the flames in the event of a fire and avoid using water.

   8. Place slip-proof mats in the kitchen

The kitchen floor can get greasy and slippery. Avoid fall injuries by placing rugged and slip-proof mats to help promote commercial kitchen safety for your employees.

   9. Use separate chopping boards

It’s important to use separate cutting boards for meat and produce. Mixing them up during operations can lead to cross-contamination and food poisoning.

   10. Always keep the kitchen bright and ventilated

Ensure the kitchen is well-lit and has ample access to fresh air. Good lighting and breathability promote employee safety and comfort.

Commercial Kitchen Safety: The Don’ts

The ten most important situations to avoid when promoting commercial kitchen safety are:

   1. Overloading the oven

Overloading an oven beyond capacity can damage your appliance, or worse, start a fire. Follow manufacturer instructions regarding the oven’s capacity and be mindful of the weight and volume limit.

   2. Storing/Using plastic in ovens

Do not use plastic containers to heat or cook food in ovens. The material in plastic containers is flammable and can start a fire in the kitchen.

   3. Using a damaged microwave oven

Avoid using microwave ovens that have damaged parts or doors. These can cause sparks, or worse - radiation emission, and are a major risk to commercial kitchen safety.

   4. Splashes from hot oil

Instruct staff to avoid dumping prepped items into fryers and pans. The splatter from hot oil leads to serious burn injuries.

  5. Placing hot glass on wet surfaces

When placed on water or wet surfaces, hot glass tends to crack and combust. Not only does this damage equipment in the kitchen, but the resulting glass shards can cause cuts and lacerations.

  6. Leaving knives unattended

Not putting back knives in designated areas can cause injuries to employees, and is a general safety hazard.

   7. Overfilling pots & pans

Adding water or oil beyond a utensil’s capacity can cause a serious burn or scalding injuries due to spillage.

   8. Leaving toasters, ovens & stoves unattended

Unattended appliances and stoves in the kitchen are the primary cause of several kitchen fires. Ensure employees are manning these units at all times whenever they are in use.

   9. Moving hot oil containers

Avoid moving and filtering oil from fryers or deep frying pans immediately after use. Allowing the oil to cool down will enhance commercial kitchen safety and prevent burn injuries.

   10. Storing leftovers in the same area as fresh food

Placing leftovers in the same sections as fresh foods or raw materials can result in cross-contamination.

Maintaining a commercial kitchen requires a multi-faceted approach, however, following the basics, sticking to general guidelines, and using quality commercial kitchen equipment will help you further the safety standards in your kitchen.

Read Also:

1. How to Make Your Kitchen More Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

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