These regulations will vary slightly from council to council so it vital that you check with your local council and health authorities on what they will be enforcing. But this article is going to give you a brief overview of regulations that all commercial kitchens need to adhere too.
Commercial Kitchen Management
When it comes to food hygiene, the main regulation you need to understand and adhere to is the Food Safety Act 1990. This act covers practising good food hygiene in order to prevent any food poisoning. You need to always remember the 4 C’s, cross contamination, cooking, chilling and cleaning.
Cross contamination occurs when raw meat touches or crosses onto cooked food. You can also cause cross contamination by using the same utensils on both raw and cooked food. Having separate sections to prepare both will help massively reduce any risk of cross contamination.
Cooking mainly focuses on the cooking of meat and seafood. Best practise is to cook meat to a minimum temperature of at least 70 degrees Celsius. That ensures that it’s cooked through and there is no harmful bacteria left over in any of the produce.
Chilling is all about ensure the food that needs to be kept at a lower temperature is kept at that specific temperature. Produce such as dairy, meat and seafood can actually have a rapid and dangerous bacteria growth when not kept at the right temperatures. It can also help fruit and veg stay fresher for longer.
Cleaning is obvious, it means cleaning down your kitchen after every service to ensure there is no cross contamination, no bacteria growth and it’s overall just good practise.
Talking about cleaning, the Building Regulations 2000 PT H-Drainage & Waste Disposal (2002 Edition) focuses on waste disposal. This piece of legislation states that any waste needs to be disposed off quickly and efficiently. It needs to be placed in the correct containers that needs to be able to completely shut. When it comes to food waste, in particular grease and oil, this can’t just be thrown away. They need to be disposed off correctly, with the kitchen management system and Environmental Health.
Along with food and kitchen hygiene, there needs to be a level of personal hygiene that’s adhered too. That includes making sure all hair tied back and covered with a hair net or hair covering, clothing needs to be appropriate and now maybe more importantly than even, there needs to be regular hand washing and a separate sink in the kitchen that is just specifically for hand washing. All this is covered in The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
When it comes to keeping your staff safe, then you need to be aware of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation 1999. This regulation covers slips, trips and accidents in the work place. That means being very aware of any obstructions on the floor, any spillages, just any potential risks.
Your kitchen equipment is also covered by a range of different regulations which we will be talking about below.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states that you have to ensure your commercial kitchen is maintained and is fit for purpose. Al equipment needs to be professionally checked over and if there are any problems arising or any issues with wear and tear. Companies such as NWCE Foodservice Equipment are on hand to help you maintain your kitchen. Their engineers are experts when it comes to kitchen management, the maintenance plans that they carry out are bespoke to your specific kitchen equipment. They book in these services during a time that suits your kitchen, ensuring you don’t have any unnecessary downtime.
All of your gas equipment will need to be CE marked and installed and maintained by engineers who are registered with Gas Safe. It is your responsibility to make sure that your gas engineers are fully trained otherwise any work that they carried out can’t be guaranteed safe or legal. The Gas Safe (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 is in place to ensure that all gas work carried out is carried out by trained engineers.
Fire comes hand in hand with gas and if your equipment isn’t looked after properly, there could be a fire hazard. To avoid any accidents, it’s important that you have a fire safety plan in place in your kitchen. You will also need to make sure that you have safety equipment available, including fire blankets and fire extinguishers. More fire safety information can be found at Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Your refrigeration is covered by the F Gas Regulations 2007/2015. These regulations have been put in place to help reduce environmental damaged caused by leaking gases. It makes the manufacturers legally responsible in ensuring that there is minimal gas leakage. Your restaurant kitchen management team will also have to be accountable for having the refrigeration systems maintained.
The ventilation system is something that seems to be forgotten in a commercial kitchen, however it’s one of the largest pieces of kitchen equipment and something that is constantly being used. Not only does it remove any fumes and vapours, it also is important in the dispersal of heat and bringing in clean air back into the kitchen. Every ventilation system needs to be fully functioning, easy to clean and vibration free. For more information on ventilation requirements, then you can look into The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
There are so many things that need to be taken into consideration in a commercial kitchen. If you do need help with any commercial equipment, then why not get in touch with a company like NWCE Foodservice Equipment? They deal not only with catering equipment but also the kitchen installation, service, maintenance of commercial catering equipment as well as the design and fabrication of full kitchen set ups.