Safety rules for the kitchen

Written by anne baley
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Commercial kitchens have the potential for injury in many different ways. Every kitchen should have a posted set of rules for safety, both for food and for personal injury prevention, and every team member should be trained on every rule until they are familiar with them. A well run kitchen is a safe place, both for the customers and the workers.

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Food storage rules

Food safety is one of the most important items to watch in a commercial kitchen. All kitchens should have a system of food storage, both for dry and refrigerated items. The FIFO system (first in, first out) should be used for all food products. Storage shelves and containers should be cleaned on a regular basis.

Food temperature rules

The range between 4.44 degrees C and 60 degrees Carenheit is known as the danger zone for food. Food should neither be held nor consumed if it is in this temperature range, as it is the range where most food-born illness grow. Cold food should be held at 3.33 degrees C or below, and hot food held above 73.9 degrees C. Food temperature should be checked on an hourly basis for safety sureness.

Clothing rules

Commercial kitchen workers have certain clothing rules they should follow to be safe on the job. Nonslip shoes should be worn at all times while on the job. Aprons or other clothing with tie strings should be kept securely tied. Rings, watches, bracelets, necklaces or other jewellery should never be worn, as they can fall off or get caught in machinery.

Cleaning rules

A 3-sink system of dishwashing should be set up with washing, rinsing and sanitising sinks, using the correct strength of dish soap and sanitiser solution. All dishes should be air-dried, never dried with towels. Separate buckets and rags should be implemented for cleaning in the front of the house, where customers are seated, and the back of the house, where only employees are allowed. All cleaning buckets should be filled with sanitiser solution and refilled hourly. A cleaning schedule of all equipment should be in place and followed.

Equipment rules

Restaurant equipment is, by definition, heavy duty and industrial. Rules should be implemented and followed for the use of each piece of machinery. Always have appropriate equipment available, such as tongs or pan grabbers. Never allow workers to improvise or to skip safety steps when using any kind of equipment.

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