Common Health and Safety Considerations in the Catering Industry
Health and safety is one of the most important aspects of any industry and, with the risks involved, the world of catering is a perfect example of this. Dangerous equipment, a fast-paced environment, and the end product at steak all contribute to the importance of proper health and safety procedures when preparing food.
Here at Jaspers Hire Ltd, we have over 25 years of experience in providing catering equipment hire for events, so we wholly understand the risks and corresponding preventative methods.
The Most Common Risks
The most common risks to health and safety in the catering industry, most likely, come as no surprise. They are centred around slipping, colliding, cuts, burns, musculoskeletal injuries, and dermatitis.
Slipping within a catering environment often comes from spillages and the swift nature with which tasks are being carried out, but it is imperative to deal with these spills and take care when moving throughout the kitchen space. It is also advisable to consider the flooring used and the footwear provided to caterers that can provide extra grip and stability.
Again, collisions are mainly down to the high speed of service, but they are easily avoided with dedicated walkways, communication, special care when moving around, and nominated entrance and exit doorways next to one another.
Possibly where everyone’s mind first goes when talking about health and safety in the catering industry, cuts require special measures for prevention. These measures can include the proper training of chefs, as well as the proper maintenance and storage of blades.
Another one of the most common risks associated with catering, burns can cause serious damage to one’s health and have to be taken seriously. Preventative measures including proper equipment, including high quality/specially-designed aprons and cloths, and proper training can make burns less common.
These sorts of injuries are especially common in the catering industry due to the physical demands these jobs place upon employees. Issues in the back and knees are common but can be avoided with proper moving equipment and the teaching of correct lifting techniques. What’s more, ensuring sufficient staff are available and working conditions are reasonable, including regular breaks, should help with this.
Dermatitis is a skin condition, sometimes referred to as eczema, that is caused by environmental factors that are common in the catering industry. Overt contact with water, chemicals, and food can all lead to dermatitis, so it’s important to provide proper protective equipment like gloves, and even a dishwasher to reduce the need for hand-washing. What’s more, as soon as the early signs (which can take the form of red, itchy skin) of this skin condition appear, it’s important to report it to a supervisor and deal with it before it becomes a more serious issue.
Finally, we must consider the precautions to take when dealing with the food itself. While the health and safety of employees is important to consider, it is equally essential that customers are taken into account when discussing health and safety in the catering industry.
For example, it’s a legal requirement to ensure your employees are properly educated about food hygiene. This also stretches to ensuring employees receive comprehensive food safety training to encourage proper practices and protect the health of those you are serving.
Over to You
In conclusion, health and safety is something a range of simple methodology can tend to, yet is still often overlooked by too many providers of catering services. We have provided you with some very basic coverage to develop your understanding of these preventative ideas, but now it’s your turn to further your research to ensure the correct procedures are followed.
For example, we have considered the prevention, but what about the unlucky eventuality that something goes wrong? Do you have the correct procedures in place for dealing with injury in catering? Well, this might come up in a later blog post of ours, but it is something for you to look into immediately as there is no time to waste.
Jaspers Hire Ltd
If you’d like to hear more about what Jaspers Hire Ltd can do for your event, whether that is in the form of catering equipment hire or furniture hire, then please get in touch. We cover a range of areas surrounding Luton than include Cambridge, Milton Keynes, and Bedford.
You can call us on 01582 749966 or fill out our simple contact form and a member of our friendly team will be available to handle your enquiry.