When it comes to running a food establishment, nothing is as important as the safety of your customers and staff. Proper gear, such as aprons and hair nets, protect your employees from burns, cuts and other injuries while also preventing food contamination. Not all gear is the same: certain materials might not be best for all kitchens. Keep on reading to learn how to best outfit your kitchen staff.
Aprons are a staple in any kitchen. Commercial kitchens in particular are typically staffed with several employees preparing different dishes all at once. When it comes to safety, materials matter. While cloth aprons are great adding designs and lettering, they aren’t waterproof and take a while to dry. It’s best to go with poly and polypropylene aprons, which are waterproof and come with extra-long ties to fit any staffer comfortably. Our blue and white aprons are available in a variety of sizes and are approved for use in USDA inspected kitchens.
Another standard in any kitchen, gloves are necessary when handling food and ingredients. Not only do they prevent exposure to bacteria, but keep hands dry when dealing with liquid ingredients or washing dishes. Quality gloves should be resistant to rips and fit snug for easy handling. Popular glove types include latex, though alternatives including synthetic gloves are also available. Depending on the type of food used in your kitchen, loose-fitting gloves might be more appropriate. Poly gloves are light and easily changeable, which is necessary when handling processed meats.
Hats and Nets
Hairstyles are a common way for people to express themselves. Some hairstyles, such as ponytails, leave the chance for loose strands to fall into the food the kitchen staff member is preparing. Hairnets address this issue by serving as a barrier between employees and the food they’re working with. Furthermore, hair nets protect loose hair strands from getting caught on equipment or being exposed to open flames. Beard protectors serve similar purposes
Another, more stylish option is to dress your staff with chef hats. While the traditional chef’s hat, the toque, is used to designate the chef as the culinary expert of the kitchen, other hat styles have grown in popularity. Paper caps offer a more modern look and can feature an array of stripes and designs. Of course, all hats serve the same purpose: to prevent hair and sweat from contaminating food and ingredients.
Full Body Protection
In some situations, aprons and gloves aren’t enough. Isolation gowns are perfect for kitchens that work extensively with meat and poultry. If slippery floors or spillage are a top concern in your kitchen, provide your staff with shoes covers that can fit over any size shoe. Hoods with elastic face enclosures are great to enclose hair and beards with one piece.
Safety Training for Your Staff
Outfitting your kitchen staff with the best gear is no reason to skip safety training. Every employee needs to understand the proper ways of handling equipment and food. Protective gear should be worn at all times in the kitchen. In the event of an accident or emergency, your staff needs to know how to react. Schedule safety refreshers for new and experienced employees alike to keep everyone’s knowledge up-to-date.
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