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A Guide to Kitchen Safety

A Guide to Kitchen Safety

The Culinary Institute of America

In addition to the precautions necessary to guard against food-borne illness, care must also be taken to avoid accidents to staff and guests. The following safety measures should be practiced.

Health and Hygiene

Maintain good general health with regular checkups. Do not handle food when ill. Keep any burn or break in the skin covered with a clean, waterproof bandage. Cover the face with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and wash hands afterward.

Keep hair clean and neat, and contain it if necessary. Keep fingernails short and well maintained, with no polish. Keep hands away from hair and face when working with food.

Fire Safety

It takes only a few seconds for a simple flare-up to turn into a full-scale fire. Grease fires, electrical fires, or even a waste container full of paper catching fire when a match is carelessly tossed into it are easy to imagine in any busy kitchen. A comprehensive fire safety plan should be in place and a standard part of all employee training.

The first step to take in avoiding fires is to make sure that the entire staff is fully aware of the potential fire dangers. Be sure that all equipment is up to code. Frayed or exposed wires and faulty plugs can all too easily be the cause of a fire. Overburdened outlets are another common culprit. Thorough training is essential. Everyone should know what to do in case of a fire. Instruct your kitchen staff in the correct way to handle a grill fire and grease fire.

Have fire extinguishers in easily accessible areas. Proper maintenance of extinguishers and timely inspections by your local fire department are vital. Above all, make sure you never try to put out a grease, chemical, or electrical fire by throwing water on the flames.

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