Health and Safety for cafes – Specific points for risk assessment

Café owners along with other businesses operating in the catering and hospitality industry deal with a unique set of risks, hazards and health & safety responsibilities. It is essential that every café owner, along with their staff, are aware of what these are and that there are appropriate health and safety measures in place to minimise risks.

Health and safety in cafes – the basics

Every business, café owners included, must carry out regular health and safety risk assessments;

  • Risk assessments identify potential hazards that could affect staff and customers, members of the public, along with other staff such as delivery teams. This assessment should highlight how much you are doing to mitigate these risks.

For a café, the number of hazards and risks posed are many and varied. A rigorous risk assessment is needed in a café setting to identify all risks and may include;

  • Specialist cooking equipment
  • Heat
  • Sharp implements such as knives
  • And so on

There are also more ‘subtle’ hazards such as steps or other changes in floor level in the kitchen area, serving area or in the main seating area. If they are not clearly marked, for example, or someone is unfamiliar with the layout of the café, accidents could result such as trip or fall.

But there is another risk to consider too: food poisoning.

Risk assessment – avoiding food poisoning cases

We understand the many obvious and less-obvious risks in a café. But there is one that could be substantial leading to your business being closed if it is found that correct procedures were not followed.

Food poisoning happens due to cross-contamination between food, as well as poor hygiene and food preparation, storage, handling and cooking practices. The resulting food poisoning case can be anything from a mild stomach upset to a more serious effect on someone’s health that requires hospitalisation.

Food poisoning should figure largely on any risk assessment. But how is the risk minimised or removed?

  • Food hygiene training – every staff member should have the basic food hygiene certification that covers the basics of food handling, preparation and storage. However, encouraging staff to complete advanced courses also helps to minimise hazards and improve food practices.
  • Follow procedures – creating policies and procedures for the checking of stock, food rotation and so on is key to minimise the potential of food poisoning. Accurate and well-maintained paperwork will be essential for food standards and health inspectors too.

Getting it right – tailored health and safety training for café owners and staff

Health and safety training is essential. While a general ‘catch-all’ approach to health and safety training serves a purpose, a course that is tailored specifically for cafes and other hospitality and catering businesses makes more sense.

In a café environment, the pace of work can lead to risks and hazards changing quickly. A detailed risk assessment backed with training for all staff members means that these risks are minimised – and you can get on creating exciting dishes and serving customers in your popular café!

How can we help you?

If you are in need of assistance with any aspect of Health and Safety management, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions or are looking for advice and support to maintain standards, call 01484 666160 or Email info@synergosconsultancy.co.uk and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.

 

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