Kitchens are a place where works of art are created, but standards need protecting by thorough cleaning and proper safety operations. To keep surfaces clean, harsh chemicals are used, which can burn the skin and damage the eyes if not used properly. Further, to keep customers safe, hair needs to stay on the head – hence chefs wear hairnets. To keep up with health and safety standards and protect staff and customers, restaurants have a duty of care to provide quality personal protective clothing (PPE) – continue reading to find out what to stock for your kitchen team.
Disposable or Rubber Gloves
Disposable gloves are essential in the kitchen because there are so many irritative substances, including degreasers and sanitisers. As well as protecting from chemical burns, gloves are essential for prepping food, especially raw meat – this avoids cross-contamination of harmful bacteria into other foods. While you’re stocking disposable gloves, you may as well invest in disposable aprons to protect clothes from harmful splashbacks that can be carried elsewhere.
Hairnets are a grey area when it comes to food safety regulations. They aren’t required by law, but the restaurant must ensure food isn’t contaminated in any way, including by hair. Therefore, the majority of restaurants opt to wear hats and hairnets as a safety precaution. After all, if the hair is found in food it will damage your restaurant’s reputation and put people off.
Beards are all the rage right now, and there are some killer looks out there. However, when beards reach a certain length, they tend to sprinkle stray hairs all over the shop. Therefore, you should provide your staff with a beard net to contain their hair appropriately.
Countless chemicals are used to clean kitchen surfaces, and they can irritate the eyes and cause blindness in the most serious cases. Therefore, you should follow manufacturer guidelines and create a COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) file containing PPE information for all chemicals used at your restaurants – you will find goggles are required for many chemicals in your storage cabinet.
Face masks became mandatory during the global pandemic, but there are many other reasons to provide face masks to your kitchen team. For example, some harsh chemical cleaners give off harmful vapours, which can deteriorate insides if inhaled.
If your team is wearing inappropriate footwear in the kitchen, you’re asking for injury lawsuits. The nature of kitchens means that hot oils can be spilt all over the floor, which can cause serious burns if employees are wearing the wrong shoes. Therefore, you should provide a uniform policy that includes a description of appropriate wear. Typically, chefs prefer to wear clogs over any other style of footwear.
Providing the right PPE for your business will help keep them and your customers safe, which will help prevent any unnecessary lawsuits. Although there is a lot of PPE to consider, and it can become expensive, it will protect your bottom line in the long run.