Tips for safety in food service work

Cooks who work in the food industry can reduce the risk of getting hurt if they follow proper knife safety protocols and take care to avoid burns.

Working in the food service industry in Anaheim, people have to be quick on their feet. Additionally, understanding proper safety measures is an important part of an effective and accident-free work environment. Whether on the floor or in the back of the restaurant, there are sharp objects and hot surfaces that need to be handled safely.

Safe handling of sharp knives

The National Food Service Management Institute recommends food service employees follow some basic knife safety rules. In order to avoid cuts or accidental amputations, the following rules should be implemented by anyone working with knives:

  • Food should be cut on a cutting board, not while being held in the hand. In addition, cutting boards should be placed in a way that they won't slide around when being used. One way of doing this is to place a damp cloth beneath the cutting board.
  • Fingers should be kept away when holding food and people should never cut food that is in their hand.
  • Distractions such as conversation should be avoided when cutting with a sharp knife.
  • Those walking with sharp cutting knives should always hold a knife with the blade facing away from the body and the tip down. It should be carried by the handle. Never run with a knife or sharp object.
  • Sharp knives hidden under soapy water can be dangerous. Knives should be immediately washed and put away, not left in a filled sink.

Whether someone is carrying plates of food, cutting food as a cook or food preparer, or washing dishes in the dish room, sharp objects should be handled safely.

Avoiding scalds and burns when working with hot surfaces

The No. 4 risk that young workers face, according to work safety site, WorkSafeBC, is burns in the food service industry. This can include touching hot metal without a hot pad, spilling hot grease on the skin, and steam burns. Young and old workers alike should take care to always protect their hands. Carrying containers filled with hot grease slowly and securely can help workers prevent these kinds of injuries. When opening a steam cooker or a pan with boiling liquid, people should always keep their skin and face clear of the steam that will be released.

Even when all safety protocols are followed, accidents can still happen. Those who are injured on the job have a right to file a workers' compensation claim, which can help deal with medical costs and lost income. Consulting an experienced Anaheim worker's compensation lawyer is a good first step to finding out about the available options.