A kitchen porter carries out a range of basic activities in a working kitchen. His primary responsibility is performing washing and maintenance duties swiftly and efficiently. Kitchen porters are typically employed in hotels, bars, leisure clubs and staff restaurants but also work in school and health care environments.
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Kitchen porters are responsible for collecting and cleaning pots, pans, plates, crockery and cutlery items. Health and safety laws usually dictate that cooking staff are responsible for ensuring all equipment used in preparing food is fully sanitised. In practice, however, many used items are given to the kitchen porter to clean and prepare, as observed on MyJobSearch.com. Kitchens typically operate with limited resources and space. A kitchen porter must ensure key items are always washed and available when required and that they are not left in a disorganised fashion that uses up space.
Kitchens sometimes tend to a set number of customers, such as in schools or in company restaurants, but in restaurants or cafes customer levels can change rapidly. Kitchen porters must do everything possible to ensure cooking staff are supplied with the pots and pans necessary to prepare food during these times. Kitchen porters often have to deal with a lot of pressure from waiting staff, who are likely to be harassed by angry customers if they have to wait too long. Kitchen porters therefore need to be adept at coping in a frenetic and pressured working environment.
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A kitchen porter is expected to mop the floor, take out the garbage and fully disinfect food preparation surfaces at the end of his shift. He may also need to manage the delivery of stock orders and ensure food items are properly stored, as described on the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust website. At busy times, a kitchen porter may also need to help with basic food preparation like peeling potatoes or placing baguettes on oven trays. A kitchen porter will need to strictly adhere to health and safety procedures at these times to ensure food safety.
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Crockery and basic cutlery items are typically washed in a machine, although kitchen porters may wash dishes manually in smaller establishments. The key components of a washing machine should be cleaned at the end of a working day to ensure it is always working at its optimum level. A kitchen porter should also vigilantly follow safety procedures when tending to dishwashers, meat slicers and garbage disposals to prevent injuries. She should also use the correct cleaning chemicals and wear gloves to protect against skin burns, as stated on the Balls Brothers website.