Personal hygiene is often the cause of many food poisoning cases. However, it tends to be de-prioritised when it comes to food safety. Observing and monitoring your kitchen staff’s personal hygiene is crucial in preventing food contamination. Let’s start by taking a look at what your crew should wear.
- Uniforms – Wear a clean uniform every day and only put it on at the workplace
- Aprons – Different full aprons should be worn at different prep stations (e.g. seafood and vegetables)
- Gloves – Different disposable gloves to be used when handling raw and cooked food
- Shoes – Wear only non-slip, full covered shoes
In addition to proper attire, there are simple actions that can have a huge impact on the quality and hygiene of your food. We also suggest conducting regular checks every morning to ensure that your crew is disciplined in maintaining their own personal hygiene.
Do not: Do: Sneeze into food Keep your fingernails short and clean Scratch your body when cooking/serving
Keep your hair and beards neat and tidy – long hair should be tied up
Rub your face/nose on your shoulder
Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap
Clean your ears with your fingers
Work on a clean surface
Wipe off perspiration with your bare hands
Use different plastic chopping boards and knives for cooked and raw food
Come to work if you are sick
Kitchen safety tips
It gets pretty hectic during dining hours, and the last thing you want is for somebody to get injured in the kitchen. Here are some ways to reduce the risk of such accidents occurring:
- Do not rush: Do not rush or run around in the kitchen. While you need to serve your diners in a timely manner, staying calm and composed will speed up the process – and can prevent unnecessary messes or accidents.
- Always keep an eye on the stove: Do not leave stoves unattended – a naked fire may soon escalate into a burning kitchen.
- Be careful with the gas: You should also turn off the gas when not using the stove to prevent any fires or explosions.
- Store dangerous objects safely: Do not place sharp or hot objects in exposed or hidden corners. During dining hours, kitchen staff may be unaware of the danger. Keep such objects in safe spots.
- Get the right tools: Use the correct equipment and utensils for their intended purposes.
- Keep a first aid kit nearby: Always place a first aid kit and fire extinguisher within reach. Ensure that both are not expired.
Everybody has a part to play in the kitchen, not only the chef. Being vigilant and disciplined not only helps to prevent accidents, but also can potentially save a colleague’s life.