Gone are the days when food and catering outlets can get away with a token effort when it comes to health and safety guidelines. Thanks to the HSE and the Food Standards Agency, hospitality and catering firms must adhere to strict guidelines, which is great news for those of us who like to eat or drink out and is also good news for employees. For the management and owners of the companies themselves, it is still not a bad thing. In fact, when you place a priority on health and safety, your staff will be happier and your customers will receive better service. Here is a closer look at the HSE catering guidelines.
Accidents at Work
The biggest focus should be the health and safety of staff and the public. For staff, the most likely accidents are cuts from knives, burns, slips, falls, burns, dermatitis, contact with chemicals and manual lifting injuries. The best way to avoid these occurring is by carrying out a thorough Risk Assessment. The better your risk assessment, the less likely an accident will occur.
For larger business such as hotels, it is worth appointing a specialist health and safety officer. For smaller businesses, help is on hand when it comes to risk assessments, with a number of example assessments found on the HSE website. Staff training when it comes to manual handling, fire marshal and first aid are all important facets of good health and safety in preventing accidents and knowing what to do when they occur.
Guidelines regarding equipment include the continual maintenance of kitchen machinery. This is more likely to prevent accidents occurring and can include cleaning, checking the ventilation (which is important when it comes to a commercial fridge or freezer), testing the electrics, preventing leaks from appliances, and maintaining gas equipment. It is also important to look to professional catering retailers such as FFD Ltd, who can provide appliance maintenance via specialist catering equipment engineers.
Food hygiene is an important part of health and safety. However, this is covered by the Food Standards Agency and not the HSE. More information on food hygiene and hygiene training can be viewed on the Food Standards Agency website.
A good attitude to health and safety should be part of the companywide culture that originates from the top down.