Whether your uniform accessories are there to add style, provide convenience or a celebrity TV chef makes it look cool, there are several uniform quirks that every ServSafe MN trained employee should avoid. While the possible list of uniform components that are food safety hazards can be extensive, we’d like to focus on three that we feel should never be part of your work attire.
Three Uniform Components to Kick Out of the Kitchen
Anything that you add to your work dress instantly becomes susceptible to the same contamination risks as the rest of your uniform. The following are three things that we feel should not be allowed in your uniform policy.
- Dry towels attached to uniform
- Arm and hand jewelry
- Baseball caps as head coverings
Many food workers feel that it’s convenient to loop a dry towel around apron strings or sling it over a shoulder. It keeps your towel handy and readily available when a plate or cutting board needs a quick wipe. Unfortunately, the apron is a common collector of dirt, grease and debris in the kitchen and the shoulder of your uniform can become contaminated with sweat and other bacteria. Keep your dry towels stored in a clean place that will allow them to be easily accessible when needed.
The regulations concerning jewelry in food preparation facilities are often overlooked. The food code states that only simple wedding bands and plain rings are allowed to be worn. Many times arm and wrist bands, rings and other accessories can go unnoticed, especially with the front of the house staff in restaurants. If you have an employee that must wear a medical alert bracelet, this issue can be resolved by substituting a necklace or anklet for the bracelet. Management should also be advised for each employee that is wearing such jewelry so that it can be quickly located in the event of a medical emergency.
While the Minnesota Food Code concerning head coverings doesn’t disallow baseball caps, we feel that there may be a few concerns with incorporating them into your dress code. Most ball caps are crafted from absorbent cloth, and the bills are generally constructed from cardboard lined with soft material. Over time this cloth and cardboard can become saturated with sweat, steam and other substances. This creates a potential breeding ground for bacteria. While paper head coverings or hair nets are ideal, we understand that baseball caps are comfortable and familiar, so we suggest if they are a part of your dress code that they are kept clean and are replaced with new ones regularly.
These three items seem like they are simply providing style, comfort and convenience in the work place, but unfortunately they also create contamination dangers. By making it policy to eliminate them, you can make the cleanest kitchen even safer.
Safe Food Training is a qualified provider of ServSafe MN training and exams; however, our regularly scheduled courses are sourced by NRFSP. Both ServSafe and NRFSP exams are accepted by Minnesota Department of Health, Environmental Services for Food Manager Certification in MN. Click this link for more information on ServSafe MN.