Safer Cooking Strategies

When it comes to Restaurant Safety, people generally understand – with some regular reminding – that it’s not a good idea to run on wet floors or to handle sharp objects loosely or carelessly. And much has been written about protecting customers from the hazards of food-borne illnesses. 

Given that foodservice workers face considerable risks in kitchens where there are open-flame cooking surfaces as well as other high-temperature cooking appliances, it pays to review some effective strategies for staying safe in the midst of every kitchen’s primary activity: Cooking.

According to one expert, fumes from cooking charred foods can be just as concerning as the carcinogens created in the food as a result of the charring process.

Tom Johnson, founder of Johnson Risk Services, explains, “Line cooks and chefs are shown to have a greater incidence of cancer than the general population.” He goes on to point out that it’s common knowledge that women in China are afflicted with cancer more frequently than are men – even though men are known to smoke tobacco with greater regularity than women.

The reason? Chinese females are tasked with performing all of the cooking tasks. “People who live downwind from certain foodservice operations that exhaust fumes from high-temperature cooking of animal proteins also face these risks,” he says.

Because of this, restaurant owners should be even surer to install the appropriate Commercial Kitchen Ventilation system – both to guard against potential fire hazards as well as to protect their employees’ health.

Another method for mitigating the charring process is to consider cooking at lower temperatures whenever possible. Cooking a pizza at 500 degrees F, says Johnson, would be a safer method, so long as the pizza’s temperature doesn’t exceed 212 degrees F – the point at which it would begin releasing gases.

Johnson also advocates for cooking without flames, if only to cut down on exposure to carbon monoxide.

Have you conducted a safety checkup of your commercial kitchen to see whether your equipment adequately protects both your employees and your property? Contact Hood Mart with any kitchen safety questions or concerns.