Restaurant Safety Tips for Employees and Customers

restaurant safety tips, image of working kitchen with flaming pan

Restaurants can be dangerous places due to the fast pace and high heat. If someone is injured, it costs both time and money. Prioritizing restaurant employee safety and customer safety protects your business’s reputation and reduces liability risk. Here are some safety tips to keep your restaurant running smoothly.

Prioritize Staff Training

Studies show that restaurant training can help reduce the likelihood of staff injury and customer illness. Staff should be familiar with health and safety regulations and health codes for restaurants. Invest in training programs for your staff to educate them on safety procedures in food service, including proper food handling, food allergies, fire safety and first aid. Train staff on necessary equipment, such as knives, slicers, mixers, grinders and blenders. Consider providing staff with a restaurant safety checklist.

Keep Things Clean and Hygienic

Dirt and poor hygiene can cause illness, spread disease and violate health codes, leading to fines or restaurant closure. Regularly clean and sanitize all restaurant areas, including kitchen surfaces, equipment, dining tables, floors and restrooms. Enforce strict hygiene practices among staff, such as frequent handwashing, tying up long hair and wearing gloves when directly handling food.

Protect Against Slips, Trips and Falls

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips, and falls are the number one cause of workplace injuries. Restaurant floors can be slippery, but studies show that requiring workers to wear slip-resistant shoes reduces worker compensation claims. Remind workers to be aware of grease build-up near cooking stations or water pooling in dishwasher areas. Clean up any spills and standing water immediately. Always use antiskid mats near the sink, cooler, dishwasher and commercial refrigerator. Use wet floor signs to alert passersby that an area may still be slippery after a recent spill cleanup.

Avoid Cuts, Lacerations and Burns

Using and handling knives and other sharp tools can increase the risk of lacerations and cuts. Exposure to ovens, boiling water and deep fryers could also severely burn workers. Only staff trained to use kitchen equipment should do so. A first aid kit must be well-stocked and on hand in case of cuts, lacerations or burns. If injury occurs, follow restaurant safety protocols and document the incident to stay compliant and protect against liability.

Maintain Equipment

Regularly inspect and maintain kitchen equipment to prevent malfunctions and hazards. Keep appliances, such as ovens and stovetops, clean and in good working condition to reduce the risk of fires. Keep up with refrigerator and freezer maintenance and rely on warranties when needed, to ensure food items and beverages stay at optimal temperature levels to prevent spoilage. Routine inspection and preventative maintenance are the best ways to avoid equipment accidents and maintain restaurant safety.

Practice Safe Food Handling

Follow proper food safety guidelines to prevent foodborne illnesses and contamination. Train your kitchen staff on safe food handling practices, including food allergies, to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses and allergic reactions. Store raw and cooked foods separately and maintain proper refrigeration temperatures. Properly label, date and dispose of foods to ensure freshness. Here’s a guide for food service operators on food safety basics.

Implement Fire Safety Measures

Install fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and emergency exit signs throughout your restaurant. Train staff on how to use fire extinguishers. Conduct regular fire drills with your staff to ensure they know how to respond during a fire. Keep fire exits clear of obstructions to allow for easy evacuation.

Choose the Right Refrigeration Equipment

Proper refrigeration and reliable equipment are vital to meeting OSHA restaurant safety guidelines and regulations and keeping customers safe from foodborne illness. Iron Mountain Refrigeration has years of experience helping restaurants with commercial refrigeration and freezer needs. We are five-star rated for quality and customer service and provide free shipping to nearly every state. Let us help you with all your restaurant refrigeration and freezer needs.