Accidents Can Happen Whether You’re a Veteran Chef Or Just Starting In The Restaurant Industry. Here Are Some Best Practices To Keep Your Safety Procedure Knowledge Up To Standards!
Knowing how to do your part in keeping a safe working environment is paramount in the restaurant industry. Restaurant workers, from chefs to servers, should possess a thorough knowledge of safety procedures to protect themselves, their customers, and their coworkers.
Don’t worry if you are new to the industry, this skill set can be easily taught. Adopting best practices in effective injury prevention, basic emergency training, and proper food safety can significantly contribute to a safer workplace. Here are some ways to keep your safety procedure knowledge up to standards.
Unsafe practices in the kitchen, or dining area, can lead to accidents, foodborne illnesses, or other incidents that can harm you, your coworkers, your customers, and your reputation. When you prioritize safety, you can help prevent accidents and injuries!
Three Common Safety Practices For Restaurant Workers:
- Wear Proper Attire
This should go without saying but, workers should wear clean clothing or uniforms and aprons to avoid cross-contamination. Also, avoid wearing dangly jewelry or sleeves.
- Wear Non-Slip Shoes
Wearing close-toed footwear can prevent injuries from spills, flying knives, burns, and more. The footwear should be waterproof and the soles should be non-slip to prevent slips and falls.
- Use Non-Slip Mats
No matter how clean we want to keep things, floors often become greasy and wet during service. Adding a slip-resistant mat to high-traffic areas, such as the pass, beverage stations, or dish pit, can help prevent accidents during the rush.
Back, neck, and shoulder sprains are common occurrences in our line of work. Servers often attempt to carry too many plates at once or think they can lift a keg, or reach for something that’s on the top shelf of the walk-in. While avoiding any injury could be a fool’s errand, proper precautions can still be established.
Brush Up On Basic Emergency Training
Set yourself up for success with the knowledge and skills to respond effectively in emergencies, as accidents or injuries can happen at any time. Having the ability to provide immediate assistance– like basic first-aid, Heimlich maneuver, or CPR, until professional help arrives will make you an invaluable asset to the front-of-house team.
Aside from injuries, roughly 5,600 restaurant fires are reported each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Staying alert and attentive when preparing food on the line can protect you and your team in the back-of-house.
Ways to implement fire safety:
- Keep flammable objects away from flames.
Do not store dish towels (cigarettes 😉 *ahem Carmy from FX’s The Bear) too close to the stove, and be sure to tie back hair that could catch fire.
- Know how to put out a grease fire.
Do not use water to put out a grease fire! Instead, cover the flames with a metal lid and turn off the heat source. Use a fire extinguisher if the fire persists.
- Know how to use a fire extinguisher.
To use a fire extinguisher, begin by pulling the safety pin and releasing the locking mechanism, then aim. Don’t forget to tell Management when to replace the extinguisher after use.
Proper Food Safety
48 million US consumers get sick every year from food poisoning. The FDA has determined that food handlers are a primary cause. Knowing how to handle food to keep people safe is a big responsibility and it’s how restaurants maintain a reputable business.
As food handlers, we should know that forgetting just one step like handwashing or not swapping cutting boards can lead to illness.
We’ve got to keep all food equipment, preparatory surfaces, and utensils clean. They need to store food at the right temperature correctly and make sure these systems are maintained and recorded.
Though it is not required in every state, having your food handlers card demonstrates that you understand the dangers of improper food preparation and have taken important steps to avoid them.
Maintaining safety procedure knowledge when working in a restaurant requires a proactive approach but should not be taken lightly. As a worker, we might think that it’s not our responsibility but by incorporating these best practices into your side work list, we can contribute to a safer and healthier workplace.