Catering Clothes – Safety, Hygiene and FormalityBy Rossmc Cullum
Kitchen staff need to wear certain types of catering clothes to maintain safety and hygiene within the food preparation environment. For owners and managers in the catering industry, health and safety is a crucial consideration. Members of staff are trained in health and hygiene matters, and kitchens, food storage and serving areas are kept as clean and safe as possible. Basics such as stocking refrigerators correctly, checking their temperature regularly and keeping an eye on the freshness of produce are absolutely key to the success of a restaurant, cafeteria or any other catering environment. Personal hygiene among those who handle or prepare food is another area in which care must be taken.
Simple measures such as using blue kitchen plasters for cuts and grazes and washing hands after lavatory breaks, sneezing and coughing can all help prevent unwanted extras ending up in food. After handling raw ingredients (especially meat, fish, poultry and eggs), staff should also wash their hands thoroughly, as well as the surfaces and utensils used, to prevent cross contamination. It only takes one diner becoming ill to potentially damage a caterer’s reputation for a long period of time. It is the ambition of many restaurateurs and catering companies to earn customer trust and loyalty. A good relationship with consumers can see them returning to an eatery time after time, often recommending the place to friends and family. This kind of ‘advertising’ from customers is invaluable. It can however, also work against a business – even one dissatisfied diner can advise others not to sample what a restaurant or cafe has to offer. It is important that all front of house and kitchen staff are made to see customers this way – there is no such thing as an unimportant patron. Due to modern technology such as the internet, those who feel their needs have not been met can also leave bad reviews on websites.
Companies that supply catering equipment often also provide catering clothes for those in the industry. Different members of the team will need different clothing. Waiting staff need smart leg wear and shirts or blouses, plus sensible shoes. There may be a need for money pockets and aprons as well. Catering clothes for chefs differ a lot for understandable reasons – hygiene, health and safety in the food preparation environment. There are several kinds of headwear for those who cook professionally, from skull caps and beanies to trilbies. All, however, serve the same purpose, they prevent hair and any associated dirt falling into food and keep hair away from machinery and sources of heat. Shirts, shoes and trousers also need to be specifically suited to the job in hand. It is worth noting that some chefs also place a lot of importance on their catering clothes, they feel as though only when they are wearing their chef’s whites do them become a professional chef. Traditional chef’s clothing is easily recognisable and many who wear it are very passionate and proud of their profession. Employers rarely forget that staff morale is essential to a productive workplace.
About the Author: Welcome to Nisbets - the UK's largest supplier of catering equipment with 25 years experience in the industry.For further information, please visit http://www.nisbets.co.uk