Safety in The Kitchen: Best Practices for Catering Equipment

Safety in The Kitchen: Best Practices for Catering Equipment

The kitchen is one of the most dangerous areas of a commercial kitchen. Do you know how to make your catering equipment safe?

Using the right procedures and equipment can help keep you and your workers safe. Things you need to consider include kitchen layout and design, sanitation, and the machinery you use.

Creating a safe kitchen starts with training your staff on food safety best practices. Use the right equipment that can help prevent accidents.

Here are some food safety best practices for your catering equipment.

Research and Choose a Reliable Brand

There are many great brands on the market these days, so it’s important to consider what features, durability, and quality each has. Choosing well-built, reliable products that are designed for long-term use is the best way to ensure safety. Kitchen appliances should be regularly inspected and tested to meet safety standards. This includes:

  • checking for electrical faults
  • examining insulation
  • observing gas and steam lines
  • maintaining the equipment

Safety best practices for catering equipment are to ensure that all workers are properly trained in operating the machinery safely. Find more info on these kitchen items, such as boilers and water heaters, chafing dishes, food pans, and more.

Proper Training

Training should include information about proper usage, cleaning, and storage of catering equipment and kitchen tools. This includes items such as knives, cutting boards, ovens, deep fryers, and more. Kitchen staff should understand the proper order of operations for tasks like food preparation and proper safety protocol for using any hazardous equipment.

Caterers should also maintain proper knowledge of food safety, including how to properly:

  • store and package food
  • handle raw ingredients
  • temperature storage guidelines

Read and Follow the Instructions

It is essential to read and follow all the instructions and safety guidelines that come with the equipment. All the manufacturers of the equipment have information on the proper way of using their product; following it will ensure that it properly and safely functions.

Regular Maintenance

This includes checking for any faults, cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces, and performing tests to ensure all operational functions are running properly. Utensils should be checked to ensure they are not cracked, chipped, or broken. Grease build-up should be removed, and any moving parts should be lubricated regularly to ensure smooth operation.

Electrical appliances should be checked for loose wires and cords, and it is essential that they only be used for their supposed functions. All stored goods should be inspected on a regular basis to make sure they are in date and safe to use. Staff should be trained in the correct use of all equipment, particularly when handling sharp objects, and always wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Suitable PPE can significantly reduce the risk of accidents occurring when using catering equipment. All catering staff should always wear closed shoes with non-slip soles for grip when handling hot and sharp equipment. Long hair must also be tied up away from the equipment.

Respiratory protection masks may also be necessary in certain environments to protect staff from airborne contaminants. It is important to keep work surfaces and floors dry and free of debris. Nearby fire extinguishers should be kept up to date and tested regularly, and all electrical wiring must be checked and serviced routinely.

Place Fire Safety

It is important to have fire extinguishers and fire alarms present and in working condition. The placement of these items should be clearly labeled and accessible to all staff.

Ensure all staff are aware of the correct action to be taken in case of a fire outbreak. Heat-proof gloves, oven mitts, and aprons with high heat resistance should be mandatory for the preparation and cooking of food.

Regular maintenance and inspection of catering equipment should be done to check its safety and its suitability for use, and in case of faults, appropriate repairs and precautions must be taken immediately. Any flammable items should be stored away from any heat sources. 

Ensure Electrical Safety

Electrical safety in the kitchen is critical to ensure that workflows in the kitchen remain efficient and safe. Best practices for catering safety must include electrical safety in order to prevent fire and shock hazards. All cords, leads, and plugs should be checked for frayed wires and any damage to the insulation before use.

Equipment should be properly grounded and all cords should be checked with a GFI plug tester prior to use. Extension cords should not be used in place of permanent wiring. When not in use, all devices should be turned off and unplugged from outlets or surge protectors.

Secure Proper Ventilation

Ensuring proper air circulation in the kitchen prevents unnecessary heat from escaping the pots and pans and can even protect from fires when cooking with oil and grease. An exhaust fan should be installed directly above the stovetop to ensure a steady flow of cooler air entering the kitchen and releasing the hot air outside.

To reduce indoor moisture that can occur when cooking for larger crowds, always open windows to provide natural ventilation. Any gas-powered equipment used for catering should have a vent hood to exhaust any combustion fumes. It is also important to keep combustible materials such as curtains and countertops away from the stovetop and always invest in proper flameproof equipment and protective gear to guarantee the greatest safety for your service.

Safe Lifting and Handling

In the professional kitchen, it is important to be aware of both the safe lifting and handling of catering equipment. Proper standing and lifting positions should be maintained to minimize the risk of injury. Keep your back straight and bend at the knees; never bend your back when lifting.

When having to lift or carry something heavy, ask for help, and do not strain your body to avoid further injury. Secure the load to your body to ensure balance and greater control. Using appropriate equipment, such as wheeled trolleys, should be used for carrying loads where possible instead of using your arms and hands.

Best Practices For Catering Equipment

These practices help reduce the risks of hazardous conditions for workers and customers. Ensure that all equipment is inspected and maintained on a regular basis, and use safety precautions when cooking.

Enroll in safety courses to learn more about the importance of catering equipment safety. Take the necessary steps to improve safety in the kitchen today!

Did you find this kitchen safety guide useful? Be sure to check out our blog for more critical articles.

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