We are all aware of how crucial food safety is to any food handling business, but have you ever considered how important your kitchen design is and how it impacts your food safety? Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, and you may have to work with a kitchen that is already in place, or you may be in the fortunate position to design your kitchen from scratch.
Reasons why a well-designed commercial kitchen is important for food safety:
A thought-out kitchen will involve having separate zones such as a raw meat preparation area, vegetable preparation area, allergy preparation area, cooking, dishwashing area, etc. Dedicated zones such as these will help prevent cross-contamination of pathogens that could lead to foodborne illnesses or allergic reactions.
A conscious commercial kitchen design will take into account the logical flow of food from storage, preparation, cooking, and serving. Considering the logical flow will help minimise unnecessary movement around the kitchen reducing congestion, risk of accidents, and threat of potential contamination.
Ventilation and Temperature Control
Ventilation and controlling the temperature is imperative in a busy kitchen; not only does it make for a more pleasant environment for your staff, ventilation is essential for helping to remove heat and steam preventing the growth of bacteria. Reducing the heat, steam and controlling temperature in a kitchen diminishes the speed that food spoils, saving you money on wastage and lowers the risk of foodborne illness.
There is a reason why commercial kitchens tend to be stainless steel; it presents a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. Minimise the number of grooves where food can get lodged which is often hard to clean. Have a regular cleaning and sanitisation schedule to help prevent bacteria buildup that can contaminate food and cause illness. Within our Hubl app checklist feature, you can include your cleaning schedule, providing a reminder, as well as a record for your next food hygiene inspection.
Handwashing and Equipment Washing
Having a well-positioned handwashing sink, or if you have a large kitchen several sinks will help promote staff to wash hands regularly, preventing germs from spreading. There should be a separate sink dedicated to washing produce and equipment, consideration should be given as to the location given the operation flow of the kitchen.
Depending on your restaurant or commercial kitchen, you may have extensive equipment. Equipment should be positioned strategically to improve efficiency and reduce the threat of cross-contamination; it should be moved regularly to clean under and behind.
To keep your kitchen organised and safe there should be adequate space to store ingredients and produce. Taking into account food safety requirements such as segregating allergy goods and storing them in containers with lids positioned on lower shelves to help prevent contamination. There should also be a first in, first out system to prevent goods expiring and being wasted; check out our new wastage feature on Hubl to help stay on top of your inventory management and save money.
There are many components that go into food safety; however, having a thought-out kitchen design can make the whole process much easier and more effective. It doesn't have to involve remodelling your kitchen. There are small things you can change that can have a big impact on your food safety and health and safety. Understanding the logical flow of your kitchen and changing either design, storage elements, or your operation flow can improve the food safety, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses, protecting your customers reputation, and safety of your staff.