September is national Food Safety Education month, and in the age of social distancing, mask wearing, and capacity limits on restaurants, food safety is more important than ever. Preparing food to impress our guests can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. But a busy kitchen can be a dangerous place as well. Each year millions of people fall ill due to food poisoning, which occurs after consuming foods that are contaminated during preparation. Practice injury prevention and proper risk management with the following safety tips.
Using Kitchen Equipment
Exercise these safety precautions when using slicers, dicers, steamers, choppers, microwaves, mixers and other kitchen equipment.
• Use push sticks or tamps to push food into machines; never use your hands to push items through.
• Turn off and unplug machines before disassembling or cleaning.
• Never open lids or put your hands into machines while they are on.
• Use hot pads when removing items from the microwave or oven to avoid burns.
• Never place metal, foil or whole eggs into the microwave.
• Stand to the side of a steamer and open the door using the lid as a shield between the machine and your body.
• Always use the machine guarding provided for appliances; never assume you will be safe without them.
Working with Knives
• Cut in the direction away from your body while keeping your fingers and thumbs out of the way of the cutting line.
• Wear steel mesh gloves to protect your hands.
• Let a falling knife fall; never try to catch it.
• Carry knives with the cutting edge angled away from your body and the tip pointed down.
• Always lift with your knees and not your back.
• If you’re standing for long periods of time, use a foot rest to shift your weight back and forth.
• Keep your elbows close to your body while cooking.
• If possible, use appliances to cut, dice and mix foods instead of doing it by hand.
• Rotate through various stations to avoid doing the same task repetitively and straining a muscle.
Preventing Slips and Falls
• Clean up spills immediately and use cones or signs to indicate a wet floor.
• Wear non-slip footwear with the laces tied tight.
• Use non-slip floor mats on surfaces that tend to get wet.
Improper preparation techniques can lead to foodborne illnesses and serious health complications. Proper risk management is an essential facet to providing an exceptional client experience. Whether you're a caterer, specialize in casual dining, or a fine dining restaurant, the Roseland, New Jersey Insurance and Risk Management experts at E.B. Cohen Insurance and Risk Management are committed to meeting all of your needs. Contact us to learn more.