Professional Catering Safety

Professional kitchens come in many shapes and sizes from the small cafe kitchen up to huge food production kitchens and catering departments for the big food suppliers or huge catering operations such as in prisons, hospitals or hotel functions. Whatever the kitchen, all have many very different health and safety issues that need to be addressed.

Many of the issues need to be addressed in the initial stages of the kitchen design with regard to layout and access. Emergency escape routes are a must and correct ventilation and extraction needs to be installed above cooking equipment. Fitting the kitchen needs careful consideration, for example, the floor needs to be hard wearing, easy to clean and slip resistant. Even the basic equipment used in a professional kitchen has some specific requirements such as chopping boards and knives should be colour coded as to what they are being used for: red for raw meat, blue for fish and so on. Answers to most of these issues can be found by asking a kitchen design company.

After all these are taken into account, the staff working in the kitchen are also required to wear appropriate work clothing. All kitchen staff should wear footwear with slip resistant soles and protective toecap footwear is also recommended to defend from falling items such as heavy boxes or knives. Chefs and cooks also have some extra clothing requirements and because of that you will tend to see most wearing a specific type of jacket irrespective of what establishments they work in. Many think that this is only an outfit for identification but it actually serves a greater purpose than that. Kitchens can get hot and as such people working in them can perspire profusely, so professionals employed in warm kitchen areas need some protection against heat. Chefs jackets are often made from thick cotton which offers efficient insulation against the unpleasant heat but despite the fact that the cotton is thick, it's designed to allow air through so that it releases the body heat out. Another good thing about cotton is that it aids in absorbing sweat. Chefs jackets are generally long-sleeved to keep the arms safe from splashes from hot liquids like boiling water or oil. There is a drawback however, cotton aids in absorbing liquids quite effectively so if the wearer splashes or spills a hot liquid onto the jacket, they will have to take the jacket off quickly because the hot liquid may pass through the material and burn or scald the skin underneath. Chefs jackets can also be embodied with your company logo or to denote position in a kitchen.

Last Saved: November 6th, 2013