Large Kitchen Safety Audit Checklist

Written by alan kirk
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Large Kitchen Safety Audit Checklist
The view might be great, but is the kitchen safe? (restaurant image by Leonid Nyshko from Fotolia.com)

A large kitchen in a restaurant is full of activity. Cooks are working on multiple dishes at a time, servers are retrieving dishes to serve and managers are shifting from station to station to help. With all of this activity, there is a risk of injury. That is why it's important to check your kitchen to make sure it's safe not only before a shift starts, but during the shift as well. Repairs to equipment must be kept up to date to ensure the safety of your employees and customers. When checking your kitchen for safety hazards, employ a professional to repair items you are not trained to fix to ensure they are fixed correctly, maintaining safety in your kitchen.

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Guarding Against Slips and Falls

The floor area should be designed to limit the risk for slips and falls in the kitchen. This can include using texturised rubber mats on the floor to provide better traction compared with tiled flooring. Be sure to clean the floor with cleaning supplies that do not leave a slippery film behind after cleaning. If the kitchen floor is tiled, be sure to place mats near the dish-washing areas and ice machine in case of water leaks or ice melting. Check the ice machine and plumbing for leaks regularly.

Burn Prevention

Require your employees to wear long sleeves in the kitchen to limit the amount of exposed skin that can be burnt. These sleeves should be tight to the skin so they do not dangle over burners or open flames. Open-toed shoes should not be worn in the kitchen, as they expose toes to the potential for burns from hot liquids. Provide pot holders close to the cooking area to handle hot pots and utensils. Temperature and pressure relief systems should be installed to limit the risk of your pressurised water system exploding.

Preventing Fires

Check your electrical plugs. They should not be overloaded. Limit them to the number of appliances they were designed for. If you need more outlets, have a professional electrician install them. Do not use a three-pronged plug in a two prong outlet. Be sure to check your electrical equipment regularly. If a wire is frayed or damaged, the equipment should not be used until the wire is properly replaced. If smoke comes out of equipment that should not be smoking, unplug immediately and replace it or call a professional to repair it. Fire prevention doesn't end with your precooking inspection. Be sure to keep rags and cloths away from open flames and other cooking areas while cooking, so they do not catch on fire. Have a fire extinguisher near all cooking areas.

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