Food safety in restaurants and kitchens
If someone asked you to picture a chef, how would you imagine them? In the best of restaurants and most common of food courts, there is a traditional uniform for chefs that is as iconic as it is functional. More than just style, the uniforms chefs wear are also a part of food safety. Even the hats are used to keep stray hairs and other materials from getting into the food. While a single strand of hair typically will not make a customer fall ill, any germs that are carried with it may. In addition, there is an icky feeling associated with foreign objects that end up in food that shouldn’t be there.
But most of all, the last thing you want your business to share a newspaper headline with is words like E. Coli, Listeria, and Salmonella and to lose the trust of your customers. Food safety is extremely important because food-borne illnesses cause thousands of people in the United States to fall sick each year, and some even die from the resulting complications.
So, what does this mean for you? While the look of the traditional culinary uniform is, in fact, stark and sever, the usefulness of it is not. Each detail from the design to the fabric is not to be overlooked. We’ve already given you the rundown on why chefs wear white, but here’s a few more reasons why professional culinary attire will keep your food safe.
The chefs’ jacket is perhaps one of the most important parts of the uniform in food services, and also one of the biggest investments. However, these are cut from double thick cotton, fabric designed with safety in mind. Not only will the fabric protect the wearer from hot liquids or equipment in a cramped kitchen space, it covers the entire torso and arms to protect the food from contamination. Additionally, the double breasted style of the jacket allows a chef to cover stains and soiling by simply switching the top and bottom layers should they have to head out into the dining room for any reason.
And don’t forget about above your shoulders. A kitchen hat does more that just pull your look together. It protects both you and your customer. Even short hair can shed without you realizing it, and a single hair can ruin your night, and even your reputation. A hat, or hairnet, that allows the employee to tuck all their hair inside, is the answer to both containing contamination but also eliminating the risk of long hair catching fire or getting caught on a piece of equipment.
It may seem crazy to add even more pieces of fabric when you’re in a steamy environment, but the neckerchief will actually keep you cool. Tied around your neck, it will protect your skin from sweat, and keep dripping sweat out of the food! It can also be untied to wipe your brow. While an air-conditioned kitchen may eliminate the threat of pooling sweat beads, a neckerchief also completes the uniform and presents a professional appearance.
If you are part of the food industry, SITEX has the specially designed uniforms and experience to help eliminate contamination risk through your employees attire. Our system follows each item throughout all our handling, laundering, and finishing to safely deliver hygienically clean garments back to you. It’s just one less thing your company will have to worry about.