Fresh Food

Ensuring Kitchen Safety Amid Surge in Grocery Demand

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With stay-at-home orders across the nation forcing many consumers to turn to grocery stores for more of their meals than normal, prepared foods and hot-bar items may be in higher demand. Many shoppers are still looking for quick and convenient meals, and that includes when they’re making grocery trips. For kitchen staff in grocery stores, this can mean an increased workload—and if staff has been reduced to accommodate social distancing guidelines, it can cause employees to quickly become overwhelmed.

Safety—both food safety and ensuring staff and consumers are safe—is still paramount, of course. Fortunately, there are a few ways to ensure a streamlined work area, clean and safe kitchens, and reduced risk of injury and other problems.

Stagger Prep Work and Meal Preparation

To limit the number of people occupying a given space at one time, kitchen managers in retail should consider staggering food prep, the assembly of dishes and other kitchen tasks. With some strategizing, retailers can divide the space in the kitchen to ensure workers aren’t too close together while they prepare foods for the hot bar, deli and prepared foods areas.

Create Cleaning Checklists and Automate Where Possible

Other tasks that can be staggered include regular cleanings and deep cleaning. Retailers can stagger workers’ schedules and create detailed checklists that include when certain tasks should be completed. They can also implement solutions such as Grease LockTM from Restaurant Technologies. Grease Lock slows grease build-up with its patented disposable filter pad and metal frame. It addresses all life stages of grease as it travels through your kitchen exhaust system and is designed to capture and remove a high percentage of grease particulate generated in commercial kitchens. Grease Lock filters capture the grease before entering the exhaust system. This greatly reduces the contaminants that enter the exhaust hood, duct work, fans, and roofs; therefore helping to reduce the risk of a catastrophic fire.

By automating cleaning processes in the kitchen, retailers can ensure kitchens are at less risk for fires from grease.

Implement a Total Oil Management System

With reduced staff, the risk of error can increase, which in turn can increase the risk of fire, injuries and other safety issues. To help mitigate safety risk, retailers can implement a total oil management system. By ensuring that oil is properly handled, disposed of and recycled automatically, retailers can have peace of mind that oil isn’t being handled manually, which can lead to spills, slips and falls and other safety risks.

Safety is not only key to the bottom line, it creates an environment that nurtures employee productivity and satisfaction. Ensuring kitchen safety as well as customer safety has never been more important in commercial kitchens. But with additional planning and strategizing, retailers can feel confident in their operations. To learn more about systems available for streamlining cleaning and oil management, visit rti-inc.com/industries/grocery-convenience.

This post is sponsored by Restaurant Technologies

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