Protective Clothing in the Food & Hospitality Industry
- Aug 30, 2018
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Just about every workplace has a dress code to ensure that employees wear the correct protective clothing. The reason for protective clothing is two-fold, as it not only protects those preparing food, it also ensures proper sanitation measures are taken to protect the food from potential contamination.
The Purpose of Protective Clothing in the Kitchen
Kitchens are busy places to work, consisting of hot ovens, sharp knives, open fires and sometimes slippery, greasy floors. When staff wear the proper protective clothing (PPE) in the kitchen it largely reduces potential injury from cuts, burns, falls and more.
Not only will protective clothing keep workers safe, it will also protect the food from contamination, keeping hair and particulates out of food as they prepare, cook, and service customers.
What To Wear
Hair nets and disposable gloves are mainstays in any professional kitchen, but it doesn't stop there. Workers also need to be equipped with gloves, towels, and clean aprons for use throughout the day to keep hair, dirt, and other things away from the food and. out of the environment.Here's a complete list of what should be worn:
- Double breasted jackets need to be given to cook staff to prevent potential burns by a spill or hot appliance. The long sleeves will also help protect them from the heat of a busy working kitchen.
- An apron should be worn over the jacket, providing an additional layer of protection against the food, equipment, and hot liquids, while also providing a professional appearance.
- Safety shoes should be a standard requirement to protect employees from slippage, blistering, and penetration of hot oils or chemicals. These shoes are designed specifically with this in mind, and have special uppers and soles.
- Oven gloves are designed to sustain the high heat from ovens, cookware and other equipment. During food preparation stovetop burners get extremely hot as well as the dishes, bakeware or pan placed in the oven. Proper oven gloves protect the employee from all of these elements.
- Disposable gloves are useful during food preparation as a means of protection from not only temperature heated foods but also from hot foods such as chillies, which sometimes cause skin irritation.
- Protective wear from cleaning is also necessary for staff involved in the cleaning aspects. This protective-wear provides adequate protection from chemicals and other cleaning agents, which typically includes eye protection, special gloves and clothing. Rubber gloves and a waterproof apron are also useful in preventing damage to clothing.
Consider the following when buying protective clothing for your staff:
- What hazards do workers face? Being aware of the potential hazards each employee may face during this work is essential to determining the appropriate protective clothing for them.
- Is the clothing suitable for work conditions? The clothing should match the needs of an employee's working environment.
- Does it offer enough protection for them? It is possible to choose clothing that offers too much protection and hinders their work. Figure out what's adequate.
- Will they need to be trained? This is a key question because employees who do not know what to use or how to use it will fail to be protected during their work.
- Does it require maintenance? This is another important question to ensure that all employees have access to functional protective clothing that's in good condition.
- How often will it need to be replaced? This is along the same lines of the above. You should also consider the range of sizes available to workers and be sure every one has protective clothing that fits them properly.
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