We often assume that the kitchen involves cooking and cleaning, so not much danger is expected, but that is not the case. A lot of contamination can take place in the kitchen, which is terrible for our health.
Accidents, which will require immediate medical attention, may also occur. Safety in the kitchen is highly paramount because you are dealing with hot utensils, hot stoves and ovens, and more. Kitchens are busy and quite dangerous places.
Hot ovens, open fires, and sharp knives all add to the risk of injury, especially if you are working in a restaurant kitchen where so much food is being prepared. We must keep ourselves safe in the kitchen because that will save you from spending money seeking treatment.
Because safety in the kitchen is vital, many protective tools have been invented. The protective wear and gear are not only for the ones cooking but also for cleaning the place.
So, What Protective Clothing Should Be Worn In Kitchens?
Heat resistant cooking Gloves.
They are designed to provide protection against excessive heat and to make your cooking activities easier and more comfortable. Heat resistant cooking gloves protect your hands and prevent accidental burns while lifting hot pots and pans or when taking hot dishes off the oven or microwave.
They are also used when working over the grill and smoker much safer. They can also be waterproof to protect your hands during frying or when stirring hot liquids. These can also be used for dishwashing with warm water.
Good quality cooking gloves are:
- Fire/heat resistant – Should be made of a good quality material that can withstand high heat without melting, and fireproof gloves won’t catch fire when used near a flame.
- Sufficient length – They should be long enough to protect your forearms from painful steam burns when opening lids working around the grill or when you have your hands in the smoker.
- Flexible – They should be soft and supple enough to allow the use of your fingers to pick up small items or do work that requires skill.
- Other good qualities are comfortable, easy to keep clean, and usability. It should be suitable for many different purposes.
We all know how messy the whole process of cooking can get. Food color, soup, cooking oil, vegetable juices, and spices are examples of substances that can severely stain our clothes.
An apron when cooking, will protect your clothes from stains that would otherwise make you look untidy. They were made in such a manner that the cook will be able to move his/her arms freely, not restricting their movements.
Although most of the time neglected, aprons are just as important as the other protective tools. An apron made from thick, durable, fire-resistant fabric is another must-have safety item in a commercial kitchen.
It will prevent burns from hots liquid and make it less likely that the chef’s clothes catch fire when working over an open flame. A corner of an apron also makes a practical oven glove amid a busy service.
Popularly known as a chef hat. Contrary to popular belief, hairnets are not just for people with long hair. Even with short hair, it is advisable to wear a hairnet in case of loose strands that may end up in your food.
No reports of complications due to the ingestion of hair have been made, but it is dangerous. Our hair contains staph bacteria, which can cause stomach problems like diarrhea. When handling food substances, ensure that your hair is not exposed.
Not just the hair on your head but also beards should be covered up. There are other options which you could always run with your boss:
- Toque Blanche (French, for white hat) – the hat everyone thinks of when they try to describe what a chef looks like. The white hat is a popular favorite and keeps your hair out of your eyes.
- Skull cap – shaped like a cake tin, the skull cap is ideal for short but overgrown hair as it rests nicely on the top of your head and reaches your ears.
- Mob cap – a looser hat with an elastic opening so you can tie back long hair and stuff it into your hat. This hat covers your entire hairline.
- Headscarf – ideal for long and short hair, the scarf is like a large neckerchief which ties around your forehead and can be tied at the back of your head.
- Hair Net – quick and simple, the hair net can seem a little dull compared to the toque Blanche, but it gets the job done. It’s always easy to keep some spare hairnets in a pocket for the day you forget to bring your hat.
When cooking, sometimes water accidentally pours on the floor, therefore, making it slippery. This is dangerous because slipping and falling become inevitable. It may seem minor, but you could break a limb there or suffer fatal head injuries.
A good chef shoe should have a rough sole to decrease friction and ensure maximum stability. Wearing closed shoes is not advised because it gets hot in the kitchen, so your feet will soak in sweat.
The goal is to ensure your safety at the same time, making the cooking process comfortable. You can purchase these shoes personally from a store near you or online on Amazon.
This is mostly for people working in a commercial restaurant where proper attire is required, and truth be told, choosing a good jacket is not always easy. When working as a chef, a white chef jacket is at high risk of being attacked by Bolognese or soup.
That’s why some chefs prefer black, but they can also be at risk of cream cheese, flour, or sugar. It feels like you can’t win. The most important thing to remember when buying a jacket is to make sure it’s loose and made of a breathable material like cotton to help you keep fresh during a long shift.
Working around hot food and working fast to get orders out, can make you feel hot and sweaty, that’s why a lightweight top helps keep you feeling cooler throughout your long shift.
For The Cleaners In The Kitchen:
A kitchen’s cleanliness starts from the sink, which has so much bacteria. Our hands are hence exposed to bacteria that are harmful to our bodies. Plastic gloves come in handy during cleaning as they prevent bacteria from accessing our hands.
Being made of plastic, they can be used in water and are very easy to clean. Ensure to wash your hands after using these gloves just as an extra protective measure. Please do not use them on hot equipment and keep away from fire.
The floors in a kitchen restaurant are often slippery due to regular water and grease spills. Wearing safety footwear helps provide employees with a better grip, assisting in the prevention of slipping and falling.
In conclusion, it is essential that you get informed about kitchen safety for yourself at home and even for workers in a restaurant because as simple as it may be, accidents can happen anywhere.