In the hospitality trade health and safety should be at the forefront of all establishments minds. However unfortunately in the present day and age we live in there are still many abuses of health and safety law and some firms manage to get away with it. Through this article we will look at the impact of health and safety on customers of restaurants as well as food safety standards within kitchens.
Kitchen Hygiene And Cleanliness
Within any hospitality environment it is important for the kitchen to be a clean and safe work space to produce meals and work in. In order for this to happen a kitchen effectively needs to be cleaned daily and rigorous protocol should go into the preparation of food to prevent food poisoning , cross contamination or any accidents occurring. In large commercialised restaurant chains such as whitbread PLC food hygiene standards are kept high and a daily checklist is kept everyday to ensure everything gets cleaned.
Furthermore all food in the kitchen is accounted for and accordingly labelled to ensure that no cross contamination occurs. In contrast to this smaller food establishments such as a takeaway are not kept to nearly as high a standard. Over the years many takeaways have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Stories of rotting food in fridges and pests running through kitchen area. Takeaways aren’t monitored by an internal body and so must take it upon themselves to do appropriate cleaning , and hygiene checks to ensure that their establishments is a clean and safe place to visit. Whether down to poor management or plain lack of interest unfortunately many businesses fall foul of these checks and are only found out when the local council or health an safety executive pays a surprise visit. Normally these are the result of tip offs from concerned members of the public.
The Consequences Of Poor Health And Safety/Food Hygenie
The fallout from poor health and safety or food hygiene cannot be understated. Kitchens are full of potential hazards and these should be clearly noted so as to avoid any chance of injury. Unfortunately in the past there have been cases where food safety standards have been far below the standards required and in some instances this has resulted in the death of people. Food such as meat and poultry can hold extremely dangerous bacteria if not cooked or prepared properly.
The Importance Of Allergens
Allergens is a collection of different allergies that can have a radical effect on someones health or well being when they come into contact with it. Over time medical and food research has improved and worldwide there is a knowledge of what allergens are and how they should be dealt with in a hospitality environment. However despite this many firms do disregard or treat haphazardly the importance of allergens. This can have significant repercussions. An example of this happening more recently was with Pret a manger. The death of Natasha ednan laperouse happened tragically due to a pret a mange baguette failing to show relevant allergen information on the packaging. This ultimately led to the death of a 15 year old girl. The accident prompted debate within the media and again highlighted the importance of allergens and the needs for more robust and thorough regulation of companies and their allergen labels.