There are so many hazards in the restaurant industry. With boiling water and fry grease, slippery surfaces covered in oil, and sharp knives being common in any restaurant, safety is very important. All of these issues are very apparent, but there are some lesser known issues that often go overlooked. Every restaurant owner and employee should be aware of these top safety issues.
1. Kitchen and Workstation Ergonomics
While workstation ergonomics don’t usually pose an immediate danger, over time they can lead to serious issues. Imagine reaching over a counter that is the wrong height over and over, or moving boxes from a shelf without a proper ladder. Proper research should be done to accommodate for proper posturing. Small changes in can prevent serious long term injuries and reduce accidents.
2. Proper Food Labeling
Labeling food improperly can lead to the cross contamination of germs and lead to foodborne illness. All restaurants should practice food rotation and proper labeling. Rotation labels are color coded, usually for day of the week, and employees know the best time and date food should be used by. The colors are more recognizable so there are less human errors when reading them. Some labels also alert to products that contain common food allergens.
3. Proper Food Handling
Proper food handling is perhaps the most important aspect of restaurant safety when it comes to the guests. Cleaning and washing hands, separate foods properly and don’t cross-contaminate, make sure all food is cooked to the right temperature. When food is being stored, a remote temperature monitoring system helps keep it refrigerated at the right temperature, and contamination free.
4. Stairs, Ramps and Floors
Stairs can become very slick with a buildup of grease. Proper grip on stairs is an essential safety precaution. While ramps are great for moving heavy items, a sudden grade change without proper warning can cause falls and injuries. Floors can also become slick with grease and liquids. Proper flooring should be used in the first place, both in the kitchen and dining room, and if there are spills proper caution signs should be used.
5. Serving and Cooking with Jewelry
Jewelry can carry germs and bacteria, which can in turn find its way into food and cause illness. Jewelry may also get hung and caught in heavy restaurant equipment and cause injury. Employees should be required to remove all jewelry before work to maximize safety.