Run a safer, smarter kitchen with proper oil management

chefs in kitchen
Thinkstock

From Restaurant Technologies.

In noncommercial kitchens, bulk cooking and fast food prep are commonplace, and with high volume service, much like in restaurant kitchens, there’s risk of injury among staff if there aren’t proper procedures in place. Protecting staff from potential injury doesn’t have to involve lengthy training sessions or costly changes in operations. Rather, small changes can make big differences, and can save operators from having to spend a lot of money paying for onsite injuries and workers compensation claims.

Common kitchen injuries: What operators need to know

According to the National Safety Council, more than 25,000 slip-and-fall accidents occur every day in the United States, making them one of the most common kitchen injuries and in turn, one of the most critical things to prevent within commercial and noncommercial kitchens. And when it comes to the cause of these slips and falls, grease is the culprit in about 30% of cases, according to Restaurant Technologies. By implementing simple, proactive steps for dealing with cooking oil, grease and other hazards operators may be able to prevent some of the most common injuries risk. Here are some key components to make your kitchens safer and smarter:

  • Make safety an integral part of the restaurant’s core business objectives by identifying common restaurant injuries and creating guidelines for how to avoid them.
  • Properly maintain your kitchen and provide your staff with adequate training, cleaning and emergency protocols that help prevent fires.
  • Invest in safe and smart technologies that remove the human element as much as possible and create a safe environment for all workers.

Beyond slip-and-fall injuries, kitchen operators should be aware of burns, which can be quite severe. Whether from food handling or working with the cooking oil, kitchen burns can not only be costly for operators, but it can cause staff to need extensive time off while they heal.

With increased throughput in kitchens and the need for speedy service to create value for diners, proper safety measures are more important than ever. Implementing technologies that can help prevent slip-and-fall injuries as well as burn injuries can be one of the best investments a kitchen operator can make.

Kitchen fires and prevention

Kitchen fires can also be a devastating issue. From open flames and cooking oils to cleaning chemicals and electrical connections, a devastating blow is only on spark away. Caused by normal, everyday cooking processes, the grease buildup on hoods and other critical kitchen equipment can cause disastrous fires that cause a lot of downtime, as well as burns and property damage. According to the NFPA, nearly 8,000 eating and drinking establishments report fires each year, accruing an annual average of $246 million in direct property damage. That’s why prevention, training and preparedness are absolutely essential. By installing an automated system that cleans hoods and other equipment on a daily basis, operators can help avoid these costly and dangerous problems and extinguish a big fire hazard in their kitchens.

Methods for increasing safety

Increasing kitchen safety can be as simple as rethinking oil management procedures. In fact, automating the cooking oil handling processes within a facility can not only help with kitchen safety, it can also create cleaner and better-run spaces. For instance, instead of having to shut down a fryer or call in a cleaning crew for oil replacement, disposal or filtration, automated systems and equipment can take care of the job at just the push of a button–making it easy and safe your employees to do their job.

Mitigating fire risk along with helping to prevent workplace injury are two huge benefits from automating oil management, and in high-volume foodservice locations, the need for safety and cleanliness is paramount. Ensure your employees have a safe work environment by reassessing your kitchen procedures, from hood cleaning to oil management and beyond.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Regional School Unit 17 in Belfast, Maine, is banning straws beginning on Monday, the Penbay Pilot reports.

The ban was put into action by a student group and the district’s foodservice director. Over the years, the district has also phased out plastic utensils and plans to completely eliminate foam food trays this upcoming school year.

Director of Food Services Perley Martin told the Penbay Pilot that the district’s foodservice budget has not increased as a result of the transition to more eco-friendly materials, due to the fact the change was made slowly.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

School districts in Jefferson, Oswego, and St. Lawrence counties in New York will be expanding their farm-to-school programs as the result of new funding, Watertown Daily Times reports.

The expansions will be made possible by the Seeds for Success program, which awarded grants to seven school districts last year to begin farm-to-school programs. This year, it will provide $5,000 grants to an additional 19 districts to either start or expand their local food efforts.

One of the grant recipients said it will use the funds to add additional gardens and expand its composting...

Industry News & Opinion

Aramark has begun using a new system to track, purchase and report on its sustainable practices.

The system, named Open Fields, allows foodservice vendors to create and monitor their own sustainability programs. Users can run their own metrics on various sustainability initiatives based on factors such as location, product, spend, attribute, farm/vendor, miles to location and distributor. Managers can also generate reports on their organization’s sustainable purchases.

Aramark says it’s using the software to track its sustainable purchases of products that are Fair Trade...

Industry News & Opinion

Columbia Public Schools in Columbia, Mo., has introduced a farm-to-school coordinator position for its new farm-to-school program , the Missourian reports .

The district partnered with the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture to create the role, which is intended to help about 1,000 third- through fifth-graders eat more fruits and vegetables. The coordinator will be in charge of arranging student field trips to the Center’s farm as well as writing and planning a curriculum and activities for students.

The Center will provide around $42,000 for the position, and the...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code