Food and drink manufacturing is the largest industrial sector in the UK, and the bakery sub-sector represents 24% of that workforce. In such a busy industry, bakeries often have early starts and late finishes, with non-stop work in between. Health and safety standards can sometimes slip, but they shouldn’t. Here are five tips to ensure food health and safety in busy bakeries.
1. Train staff to handle occupational hazards in order to avoid accidents
Bakers are exposed to a variety of hazards. Avoid cuts, slips, and falls by training staff to deal with potential hazards quickly and efficiently. Baking ingredients can trigger allergic reactions such as asthma, dermatitis, and conjunctivitis. Teach staff about the risks and about wearing the appropriate gear and regularly cleaning up as prevention strategies. Prevent strains by teaching staff how to handle heavy objects properly.
2. Teach the importance of sanitation to prevent cross-contamination
Do your employees know the risks of cross-contamination? Prevent cross-contamination by ensuring employees respect the rules of sanitation. Regularly train them to properly sanitize their workspaces and any equipment they might use.
3. Train managers and staff to handle employee illness
Be on the lookout for notable symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, and illnesses, such as food poisoning and norovirus. Teach employees which conditions need reporting to managers, and train managers to respond to such reports. The Food Standards Agency has provided a full guide here.
4. Ensure staff members know how to use equipment properly
It’s important to be quick, yet efficient. Maximize productivity and reduce the chances of accidents by training your staff to use the equipment safely and properly. Bakery staff are exposed to physical, chemical, and biological hazards. Train staff to recognize early signs of fungi, parasites, and mold to prevent illness of both staff and customers.
5. Invest in high-quality uniforms and shoes for staff
The cheaper price tags are always attractive to owners and managers, but the poorer material quality will increase the chances of potential accidents and injuries. Instead, invest in high-quality uniforms and slip-resistant shoes to keep your staff safe.
Putting these measures in place makes a safer, happier workforce, which ultimately means better productivity and rising profits for your bakery.