Food Safety Training in MN focuses on how to keep the food you serve safe, but from time to time we feel it is important to discuss how to keep you safe on the job. Burn incidents occur frequently in this business, and we’d like to share a few tips on how to prevent them from happening. Here are our top three ways to reduce your risk of a severe burn:
- Use mitts designed for hot handling
- Make sure hot pans are kept safely off the production line
- Exercise patience
Many chefs and food service professionals may disagree with our first suggestion, but we have seen quite a few incidents involving the use of a folded cloth towel and a hot pan. Your standard cleaning towel is not designed to hold heat for very long, even while folded. Cloth towels can also become damp or torn causing the heat to penetrate much faster.
Often times, especially in busy restaurants, hot pans will come out of the oven and be placed on the production line. If this is the case in your establishment, you should stress to your staff that the food on these pans be plated as soon as possible and the hot pan be removed immediately. Having hot pans lying near where a food worker can pick it up can greatly increase burn risk.
Our last suggestion is one of the easiest to teach but the hardest to practice. The food service industry is fast paced, intense and induces a natural pressure for quick performance. No matter how much pressure you are under, do not open a steamer before it has finished or empty a fryer basket of food before excess oil has drained.
If you do receive a burn on the job, it is important that you take care of it immediately to prevent further damage. The first thing you need to do is to immerse the burn under cool, running water for several minutes. Next, you should treat it with some kind of antibacterial burn gel. It is important to get this on the burn as soon as possible to stop the burn from continuing to damage your skin and to prevent infection. Finally, wrap the burn in gauze and keep it clean. If the burn is in a prominent area where it may come into contact with food or become soiled, it may be advisable to take some time to allow it to heal before going back to work.
There are many hazards that are specific to the food service industry. We’d like to know which ones are of the most concern to you, and what hazards you would like to see covered in a future blog.