When we think of health and safety in catering, we immediately think of accidents caused by knives, hot surfaces or even food hygiene. But did you know that the single most common cause of major injury in the catering and hospitality industry was through trips, slips and falls?

That's not to say those other safety concerns raised aren't as important, they absolutely are! From slips and trips to cross contamination and hygiene we will look at these 3 areas of health and safety in catering with tips and resources to help you prevent them and protect your employees.  

Slips, Trips and Falls in the Kitchen

The pace of work in this type of environment can be very intense and it's during these periods that accidents are most likely to occurfrom food spillages, overflowing or leaking water, poor flooring etc. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 it is the employer’s duty to assess risks and take action to control them.

Adhere to legislation and protect your staff by assessing the risks in your environment. The HSE Good Practice Guideis a good reference when doing this and includes useful tips on prevention.

Browse our Catering signs [Insert link] for signs to prevent spillages in the commercial kitchen.

Working Safely with Knives

It's not surprising that knife related accidents are common in the catering industry. Those digits on the non-knife hand are those most at risk and occur when people are not taking care - which is easily done in a stressful, busy kitchen environment. It’s crucial that you assess the risk of your employees being cut by knives and take reasonable precautions. 

Training your staff on knife safety is incredibly valuable in teaching:

        How to safety use a knife

        Which knives are best to use for different food types

        How and when to sharpen knives

        How to safely store unused knives

        What activities a knife should not be used for

While many of these may seem common sense, it's good to set out standards of what you expect in the kitchen so your team know what they must adhere to. Having kitchen warning signs  displayed will help reinforce this message further.

Food Hygiene

Cross - contamination occurs when harmful germs are transferred from unclean to clean areas and the consequences can be very serious! Not only can it cause illness, it can damage your reputation in the industry. When practicing good hygiene, personal hygiene and work hygiene is a good place to start.

Banish germs from the kitchen by sterilising utensils, equipment and worktops using the correct products and procedures. It goes without saying but sanitising hands regularly is essential, especially when dealing with raw and cooked meat, poultry or seafood.

Remember that you cannot smell or see most germs, so be proactive and ensure staff are versed on the following measures:

        Separate dirty and clean areas/ equipment

        Prepare raw meat, fish and vegetables on separate chopping boards with separate utensils

        Store meat, vegetables and cooked food separately

        If you use just one fridge, place raw meat at the bottom with all other food at the top.

Food and Hygiene signs are a great reminder to reinforce these habits, view our extensive range of food safety signs.

For more information on food hygiene, visit the HSE website.

With over 10,000 health and safety signs we are sure to have a sign to help prevent accidents in your kitchen. If you need something more bespoke, please get in touch [Insert link]we would be more than happy to work with you to create the sign you need!