In this post, I’m going to go over 7 simple tips on Preventing Burns in a Kitchen, and no, I’m not talking about burning food. This seems simple enough, but you’ll be surprised how often people in the workplace burn themselves and don’t practice these safe tips.
1. Assume It’s Hot
In any kitchen, you always need to assume that a pot handle is hot. Don’t just grab it with your bare hand. When you’re finished with a hot pot or baking sheet, either sprinkle white flour on it (applicable in a baking environment) or store it in a safe spot where everyone knows that it will be hot.
2. Dry Towel, Not Wet
While handling hot pots or trays, always use dry pads, or towels. Wet ones will create steam and will burn through. Keep pan and pot handles out of the open and always turn them so they are facing the counter or the back of the stove-top. Be sure not to turn it so that it is over an open flame. Nothing is worse then the thought of a child reaching for a pot full of hot oil/water and pulling down on the handle.
3. Ask For Help
Don’t be a hero and try moving larger pots by yourself. Nothing is worse then dropping or spilling hot liquids in a kitchen. The cleanup alone is brutal, let alone burning yourself or others. While moving larger pots full of hot liquids, always ask for help.
4. Proper Kitchen Attire
Have you ever wondered why chefs wear double-breasted coats with long sleeves? Regular t-shirts will burn quick and absorb even quicker. Double-breasted coats with long sleeves will prevent it to absorb quickly and give the chef time to take off the coat incase of an oil spill or hot liquid spilling on them. As for shoes, leather closed toed shoes should be worn. Practice proper kitchen attire and be a leader in this. If you are the owner and decide to help the kitchen out during a busy time of day, lead by example and dress up.
5. Water & Oil Don’t Mix
This might be stating the obvious, but always keep liquids away from your fryers. Water and Oil don’t mix! When you are frying items, always dry them first, and place them in by letting them fall in away from you. If you have an oil fire smother it or cover it. You might react by bringing the pan to the sink or adding water, DO NOT ADD WATER!
6. Be Vocal
The most important rule every restaurant should have is to warn people when walking behind or next to them, a simple yet firm “BEHIND” or “Hot Coming Through” to alert others will prevent you and your restaurant staff from getting burnt or injured.
When opening lids from a pot that is boiling, make it a habit and open lids away from your face will allow for the steam to escape away from your face and the condensation to drip into the pot. Not only will you save yourself from potentially burning your wrist, you’ll keep your stovetop clean! Similar tips can be applied when you’re opening an oven door, just look away, or stand back. Don’t be too eager to see what’s cooking!
Building safety into your staff is more than just memorizing the steps and procedures of proper kitchen safety. It is part having the right attitude in your kitchen. Practicing safety is something every restaurant and home owner should promote and practice. Not only will your restaurant run smoother, it will add professionalism to your workplace, that will be shared as new staff joins your team.