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Follow food regulations with an OSHA kitchen safety checklist

Comply with OSHA kitchen safety regulations by implementing OSHA kitchen safety checklists in your food service business

What is OSHA kitchen safety?

OSHA commercial kitchen safety is a high priority given that food service is susceptible to multiple health hazards. In July of 2021, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), announced that it would take a renewed interest in its supervision of restaurants and other commercial kitchen/food service establishments.

Table of contents:

1. What should an OSHA kitchen safety checklist cover?

2. What is OSHA’s role in kitchen safety?

2.1 What are the new OSHA kitchen safety standards regarding heat exposure?

4. The benefits of a digital OSHA kitchen safety checklist

What should an OSHA kitchen safety checklist cover?

To make sure that you’re prepared for an OSHA commercial kitchen safety inspection, your OSHA kitchen safety checklist should include:

  • Your OSHA 300 Illness and Injury Log, which you can use to identify needed kitchen safety improvements.
  • An overview of the OSHA rules for young restaurant workers, if you employ anyone under 18.
  • OSHA regulations regarding kitchen fire safety and dangerous equipment such as meat grinders.
  • Any safety concerns your employees may have. It’s much better if they discuss these with you rather than make reports to OSHA.

It’s an excellent idea to have signs up around your workplace reminding employees to maintain OSHA commercial kitchen safety protocols.

Go over all employee training and PPE policies in your workplace to make sure they’re consistent with guidelines and well-documented, ready to show the OSHA inspectors.

What is OSHA’s role in kitchen safety?

OSHA conducts detailed inspections of both full-service and limited-service restaurants. Inspectors sometimes show up unannounced to inspect your food service facility for kitchen safety compliance.

OSHA is especially concerned that employees be protected from retaliation when they raise concerns about workplace safety. Said employees are at increased risk when it comes to COVID-19 and other pathogens, since they are generally in close contact with customers and other employees.

In addition to COVID-19 safety, OSHA also prioritizes protection from heat stress and injury. In September of 2021, new OSHA kitchen safety standards were announced as part of an initiative to protect commercial kitchen staff from heat-related illness and death. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, heat kills an average of 38 employees per year in the US, but that number may be much higher. Since the cause of death is usually a heart attack, it can be difficult to determine if heat is the primary trigger.

What are the new OSHA kitchen safety standards regarding heat exposure?

OSHA kitchen safety standards regarding heat exposure have changed to reflect increased risk of heat injury to employees.

Kitchens and bakeries are well-known as hot places. Ovens and cooking equipment generate a lot of heat, which often overpowers any attempt at air conditioning.

woman cooking ice cream inside a kitchen

The benefits of a digital OSHA kitchen safety checklist

Paper checklists have their pitfalls; lost documents and poorly communicated instructions can have disastrous consequences for kitchen operations. Moving to a digital solution simplifies communication and information sharing. With Lumiform, a mobile app and desktop software for audits and inspections, you can provide clear and concise kitchen work instructions.

Keep track of kitchen operations by using digital checklists for different kitchen applications. When you switch to paperless kitchen safety inspections, you benefit from:

  • A vast template library you can use to find your first OSHA kitchen safety checklist
  • The ability to convert any existing paper-based checklists into digital templates for your team with the flexibleform builder
  • The ability to solve problems right from the app by assigning corrective actions to team members, streamlining your OSHA kitchen safety inspections
  • Automatically generated reports you can share with others for detailed analysis
  • A permanent, cloud-based filing system for all reports and checklists

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Two male cooks preparing fresh oysters
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