Restaurant Safety Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season

restaurant decorated for the holidaysEven during the holiday season—one of the busiest in the industry—restaurant safety should take top priority. When the day gets hectic, it’s easy to let little things like a lax cleaning regimen or unsafe clothing go unnoticed. However, that’s when keeping an eye on safety matters most. To make sure workers and guests are safe this holiday season, check out these handy kitchen safety tips.

Do an Equipment Checkup Ahead of Time

What’s the best way to fight fires, mitigate malfunctions, and avert accidents in the kitchen? Take preventative measures by making sure all your commercial kitchen equipment is in top shape. If it’s been a while since you checked all the parts of your ice machines, cleaned out your fryer grease traps, or organized your walk-in freezer, do it now. When the pace picks up, you’ll feel better knowing your equipment is prepared for the rush.

Maintain a Holiday Dress Code

No, we’re not talking about ugly holiday sweaters. Make sure all kitchen staff wear clothing that is safe to cook in. This means long sleeves to prevent burns, close-toed shoes to prevent foot injuries, and shoes with good traction to prevent slips and falls.

Get Serious about Sanitization

During the holidays, your cleaning regimen should be stricter than ever. Clean up spills the moment they happen, store your ingredients in well-sealed containers, and be vigilant about sanitizing food contact surfaces so that unsafe raw ingredients don’t contaminate cooked foods.

Accommodate Food Allergies Adequately

Speaking of cross-contamination, it’s important to take guests’ food allergies seriously. Keep allergy-friendly utensils and equipment (like blenders labeled “nut-free” or “dairy-free”) away from their counterparts. If the guest’s allergy is severe and you’re not sure your kitchen environment can accommodate their need, you should let them know and offer an alternative menu item if you can. (For more ways to be food allergy-friendly, check out our tips for food allergy training.)

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