HSE catering guidelines: Start the new year as you mean to go on

It’s promising to be an exciting year in the catering business. There is so much interest in food at the moment. People love trying all sorts of new cuisines, and many of them still enjoy the comforts of more familiar food.

Dinner parties hosted by caterers or private chefs, pop-up restaurants, food festivals and food trucks are also creating a buzz in the world of catering. People are becoming increasingly aware of what they eat, with new super foods or healthy foods being quickly embraced by food lovers and the media.

HSE catering guidelines

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Although the future looks bright for food service, there are also many rules and regulations that need to be adhered to by restaurants and other caterers. The new year provides a new chance to keep abreast of the regulations and make sure all your equipment is spick and span for the year ahead.

A Health & Safety Executive report stresses the importance of keeping kitchens clean and checking machinery and equipment. It says staff should be trained and supervised regarding the need for high standards of cleaning.

Any spills should be cleaned up immediately, and it is highly important to keep floors clean so people do not slip or fall.

Check equipment is fit for purpose

It is also important to check equipment such as electric plugs, cables, heated food trolleys or trays, machine guards and gas appliances for any wear and tear or damage. Some appliances will also need to be serviced regularly.

Pressure cookers, electrical items, steam pans and coffee machines also need regular inspections to make sure they cannot be harmful to users.

A Health & Safety Executive report warns that inadequate, temporary repairs to “make do and mend” can cause accidents and might also be in breach of health and safety rulings.

Investing in new catering equipment

It may be prudent to invest in new equipment rather than risk breaking the laws and putting your employees’ safety at risk. The Food Standards Agency advises that equipment has to be clean – and in some cases disinfected – and in good working order and condition.

You can buy equipment through food machinery auctioneers such as http://www.clarke-fussells.co.uk.

This can be a cost-effective way to buy equipment at short notice.