Like any other sector, catering outlets impose some serious risks to the health and safety of the workers. It’s very important to know what those risks are and what you can do to minimize it and make your catering outlet a safe and secure place for your workers.
You should be aware of how to comply with the health and safety laws. In the catering food business, it’s the little things that matters. When dealing with food, health and hygiene matter the most. Proper handling of food, the safety of kitchen staff, things as simple as a handwashing station, clean dishes, all this holds importance.
Your local health department will frequently visit to regulate and inspect the safety and cleanliness of the catering outlets. You need to take the right precautions and train your staff to avoid any unfortunate mishaps at your catering outlet.
Common Health and Safety Risks Present in the Catering and Hospitality Business
Slips, trips, falls, burns, cuts, etc. can have serious consequences and the catering outlet imposes such threats. It’s important to identify workplace hazards and take the measures to safeguard the workers. Risk assessment is required so that adequate timely measures can be taken to minimize it and train people better.
There are two areas of risks that should be handled carefully. One type of risk is imposed on the workers in preparation and manual handling of food.
The other type of risks is of accidental contamination of food that endangers health and safety of the people eating it. The food must be prepared with complete hygiene. Proper storage of raw and cooked food is essential. Use of appropriate food packaging containers in the hospitality business is a must.
Risks Involved in the Preparation and Handling of Food
Catering comes with an array of challenges whether it involves on-site food preparation or off-site food preparation. Catering Outlets presents a unique set of risks. These places involve the use and handling of sharp knives.
- Cuts and lacerations are the most common type of injury that occurs in the catering business.
- Burns and scalds from lifting and manual handling of hot liquids.
- Slips, trips and falls.
- Contact with harmful substances.
- Fire or gas leaks
Health and Safety Risks Related to Food Contamination
- Lack of basic hygiene in the workers.
- Handling or touching food without properly cleaning hands, no proper handwashing station.
- Not maintaining the required temperature of the food, lack of refrigeration that leads to food spoiling.
- Lack of proper storage of food leading to food contamination.
Health and Safety Advice for Catering Outlets
Health and safety laws are meant for all businesses. As a catering business owner, you are responsible for the health and safety of your staff and workers and the people who consume your food. Few necessary precautions are essential for catering business.
Handling of food requires utmost care right from the storage of raw materials, cooking properly to proper storage of cooked food. As a catering business owner, it’s your responsibility to maintain the standards and provide all the basic facilities to ensure cleanliness.
Precautions and Employer’s Responsibilities
- Provide and maintain equipment and safe working conditions.
- Provide facilities like hot and cold running water and toilets.
- Provide complete information, training and instructions to your workers.
- Safe work procedures.
- Ensure supervision of your staff.
- Control and prevent exposure to hazards.
- Ensure frequent inspection of food, refrigeration systems, fryers, waste disposal and everything.
Catering business faces specific challenges but most accidents can be prevented through good management, supervision and effective training of the staff. Special care should be taken while training inexperienced and new staff.
Identification of the hazards and proper risk management will enable you to protect people from getting harmed.
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