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Complete Health & Safety Checklist for Commercial Kitchens

Compared to other workspaces, managing health and safety in the food and catering industry has its own unique challenges. If a restaurant fails to follow proper health and safety regulations in the kitchen environment, potential injuries could occur as well as damaging legal action - or worse.


To ensure you deliver on the correct health and safety regulations, you must consider the safety of your staff and your customers. We’ve provided a commercial kitchen health and safety checklist to make sure you conduct all the right checks in your restaurant. 


Commercial Kitchen Health and Safety Checklist


Kitchen Area

  • Are the kitchen and equipment consistently hygienic?
  • Are the kitchen and equipment in good working condition?
  • Is the kitchen clean and tidy and are staff cleaning as they go?
  • Are all food and hand contact surfaces (work surfaces, fridges, for example) in good condition and cleaned regularly?

  • Are suitable cleaning chemicals available and stored correctly and are proper cleaning methods used?
  • Are separate cleaning cloths used in clean areas?
  • If cleaning cloths are re-used, are they properly cleaned and boil washed after?


Food Storage

  • Is ready-to-eat food stored above and separate from raw food in the fridges and freezers?
  • Are deliveries appropriately stored on arrival?
  • Is food stored in fridges/freezers covered?
  • Are high-risk foods date coded? Are the codes checked daily and stock rotated accordingly?
  • Are dried goods stored correctly away from the food in secure containers?
  • Is outer packaging removed from ready food before being placed in the appropriate, clean area?
  • Are the fridges and freezers in proper working order?
  • Are fridges and freezers defrosted regularly?


Food Handling Practices

  • Are ready-to-eat foods prepared in separate, clean areas?
  • Are separate utensils and equipment used for ready-to-eat foods? If the same utensils are used, are they disinfected in a dishwasher?
  • Is the dishwasher in good working order and regularly serviced?
  • Are wrapping and packaging used for ready-to-eat food kept in a clean area?
  • Do separate staff handle ready-to-eat food? Are staff following rules on changing clothing and washing hands before handling food items?
  • Is separate equipment provided for ready-to-eat food and stored in a clean area?
  • Are staff handling food as little as possible - i.e. using tongs to handle food?
  • If colour coded equipment is used, such as chopping boards, is it being correctly used?
  • Are high-risk foods prepared in small batches and placed in the fridge immediately after preparation?
  • Are vegetables/fruit/salads/ trimmed and washed thoroughly before use?
  • Are clean utensils available for customers for self-service?
  • Are frozen foods defrosted safely?
  • Are methods in place to prevent contamination by chemicals/foreign bodies, such as glass, bolts, rust, chemicals and packaging materials?
  • Are staff aware of food allergy hazards and how to handle serving guests with allergies to mitigate risk?
  • Are methods being followed to ensure staff wash hands after handling raw food and before touching surfaces?
  • Are designated food probes used for raw and cooked foods and are they cleaned properly?


Personal Hygiene

  • Are staff wearing clean, suitable protective clothing?
  • Are staff following personal hygiene rules in regards to sanitation and handwashing?
  • Are handwash sinks clean with hot water, soap and hygienic hand drying facilities?
  • Are handwash sinks used for hand washing only?
  • Are staff regularly washing their hands?
  • Are staff toilets and changing facilities clean and tidy?


Pest Control

  • Is your premises safeguarded against pests and free from any signs of pests?


Waste Control

  • Is waste in food rooms being stored correctly?
  • Is food waste stored correctly outside?
  • Is the refuse area kept clean?


Training Your Employees

Maintaining a clean, safe environment in the kitchen is just one aspect of running a successful business. Employees also need to be trained to avoid accidents in the kitchen and dining area.


When employees first start working in your kitchen, you must tell them all the health and safety rules your company follows. They’ll need to know where they can find the fire blanket, where the nearest fire exit is and what they should do when they spot a potential hazard.

Employees should also be trained in how to handle a wet floor hazard. Explain to them that a wet floor sign should be placed next to it and where they can find one. Or if there’s broken glass on the floor, a chef should stand nearby to alert anyone from walking anywhere near the area.

Now you’ve got your commercial kitchen health and safety checklist and training employees, we’ve covered everything else you need to know.

Everything You Need To Know About Health and Safety

The above checklist is just one component to keeping your kitchen clean, safe and compliant. We’ve created a page filled with everything from hygiene to maintaining your restaurant area - and we’ve even covered team-building exercises. Get access using the button below.


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