Operational Safety.

Good and safe working habits include the following:

  • Pick up knives by the handle only.
  • Take a firm grip on a knife handle and always make sure the handle is free of grease or any other slippery substance.
  • When slicing round objects such as onions or carrots, cut a flat base so the object will sit firmly and not shift when being cut.
  • Never force a meat band saw; it may jump when striking the bone.
  • When using a cleaver, be sure the item to be chopped is sitting solidly. Note: Avoid chopping large, hard, or brittle bones with a cleaver as the bones may splinter and become as dangerous as flying glass.
  • When grating foods, never work barehanded or with the foods too close to the cutting surface.
  • Use dry towels when handling hot skillets, pots, or roasting pans as a wet cloth conducts heat more readily than dry cloth.
  • Avoid splashing grease close to open flames. Grease will ignite quickly, causing a fire. Do not throw water on a grease or fat fire: smother it. Use a foam extinguisher or a wet towel.
  • Remove the lids of pots slowly. Lift the side of the lid that is away from you so the steam does not rush out too quickly, causing burns to your hands or face.
  • Always give notice of “hot stuff” when moving a hot container from one place to the other.
  • Keep mittens or hand towels used for handling hot foods off the stoves. Too often, the end of the towel is dangled into or drawn across the fire.
  • Avoid overfilling hot food containers.
  • Never let the long handles of saucepans or skillets extend into aisles. If they are brushed, hit, or bumped the pot may fall.
  • Never turn the handle of any pot over an open flame.
  • Place a lighted match to gas jets before turning on the gas. Ventilate gas ovens for a few minutes before lighting by leaving the oven door open so any gas pockets that might be present can escape.
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers; know, how and when to operate them. When placing food in hot grease, always let the item slide away from you so the grease will not splash toward you and cause a serious burn.
  • Wet floors are dangerous. Keep them dry.
  • Pick up or wipe up any spilled item immediately, particularly water or other similar liquids.
  • When liquid or fat is spilled, have one person watch the area and warn others of the danger while another goes for a mop. Small areas may be sprinkled with salt to provide traction until the spill is cleaned up.
  • Walk. Do not run or slide across the floor.
  • Never leave utensils on the floor. Someone is sure to trip over them, and it may be you.
  • Keep all traffic areas clear of boxes, garbage cans, portable equipment, mops, and brooms, etc.
  • When mopping kitchen floors, do only a small area at a time.
  • Using rubber mats behind the cooking and or preparation area is a good practice. However, mats must be kept in first-class condition by the daily cleaning and by replacement when they begin to wear.
  • Use care in handling glasses and dishes.
  • Discard all glass or other china items that are chipped or cracked.
  • Keep glasses and china out of the pot sink.
  • Never place the glassware in soapy water. Wash glassware in a dishwasher, using a compound recommended for glasses. Use the appropriate trays for each item(s) that are being washed.
  • If you suspect there is broken glass in soapy water, drain the water, then remove the pieces carefully with a paper towel.
  • Never use glassware during forming or preparing food. For example, do not cut biscuits or ladle liquids with a glass item.
  • Do not use glass as an ice-cream or an ice scoop. It may break in your hand.
  • Use a pan and broom to sweep up large pieces of broken glass or china. Use a dampened paper towel to pick up the slivers. Put the broken glass in a special container. Do not place broken glass in wastebaskets.
  • When opening boxes, crates, etc. remove the nails. Do not bend them down.
  • Always store heavy materials on bottom shelves, medium-weight materials next, and light-weight items on top shelves.
  • When carrying china and glassware from one place to another, be alert, and move cautiously. Keep complete control of the load at all times.
  • Get rid of all dirt, grease, and trash promptly to reduce tripping or fire hazards and to eliminate breeding places for rats and cockroaches.
  • Be sure light bulbs are guarded. As a precaution against fire, do not store any open food within 45 cm (18 in.) of any bulb.
  • Use ladders, not boxes or chairs, to get things from high shelves. Always have three points of contact when moving up and down the ladder. Do not overreach, and never stand on the top two rungs of the ladder.
  • Place food scraps in proper containers.
  • Do not allow containers to overflow. Empty them before they are completely full.
  • Do not stack full refuse containers.
  • Report broken or defective containers.
  • If wearing gloves while disposing of refuse, you should remove the soiled gloves once the job is done and, when returning to work, wash and sanitize hands properly
  • Push garbage down using a tamper or other tool. Do not push it down with your hand or foot!
  • Good housekeeping is an important part of safety and accident prevention. Many unsafe conditions can be corrected before they result in injury. Good housekeeping is a necessity for a safe and sanitary kitchen. A clean work environment leads to pride in workmanship and a safe operation.

Good housekeeping procedures include the following:

  • Do not block exits.
  • Change burned-out light fixtures in work areas, walkways, and exits.
  • Keep floors and work areas clean, dry, and grease-free.
  • Keep steps and ladders in serviceable condition.
  • Keep emergency equipment clean and unobstructed.
  • Keep emergency exits and routes open and unobstructed.
  • Ensure that all signs and caution labels are in good condition and visible.
Marius Joubert
Author: Marius Joubert

Founder of Restauranthub.co the first true community for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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