7 Causes of Injury & Illness To Avoid As A Restaurant Worker

Anyone can get sick from contaminated food served in restaurants, and any employee can be injured with poor work habits. With good work habits and proper supervision, restaurants are safe places to work and eat. Here are seven causes of injury or illness to avoid in restaurants:

Injuries from Bad Work habits

Sprains, bruises, and burns occur to restaurant workers because of careless work habits. Proper lifting mechanics can prevent strains and sprains to muscles and joints.

Injuries from Plugged-In Machines

Before workers ever try to fix a machine, they must unplug it. Before they put their hands in to dislodge food, it’s important to remove the threat of the machine turning on. In addition, taking care around open flames to avoid burns is another important practice.

Injuries from Sharp Objects in an Entree

As a rule, restaurant food is reasonably safe, but occasionally, foods are served that can cause injury. A sharp object accidentally lost in an entrée dish can injure a customer. It’s not good to let cooking utensils, fingernails, hairpins, or personal objects fall into serving dishes. In addition, sharp bone or cartilage pieces can be served in the dishes, along with other objects. Such objects can be caught in a person’s throat.

Illnesses from Broken Equipment

Broken equipment in a restaurant is a bad sign. A broken pan or fitting can contaminate foods or injure both employees and customers.

Illness from Biological Contaminants

Biological contaminants cause food borne illnesses. Infected employees can pass a biological contaminant like Hepatitis A to customers. In addition, the workstations in restaurants should be clean and free from clutter. Cleaning fruits and vegetables properly is essential to prevent contamination.

Illness from Parasitic Contaminants

Without proper cooking or refrigeration techniques, parasites from beef, pork, chicken, and fish can contaminate customers and make them ill. Proper refrigeration and proper cooking techniques destroys parasites.

Illness from Viruses

Restaurant workers who touch food with dirty hands pass viruses. Viruses include everything from the common cold to Norwalk-like caliciviruses. Proper hygiene and handling of food can eliminate the spread of viruses. Although sneezing on food will also contaminate it. Stay away from restaurants where the workers are sneezing and coughing.

Restaurants can implement safety practices with safety training of employees. Signs of safe practices should instill confidence in patrons and employees that a restaurant is concerned about their safety.

Sources:

http://www.doh.wa.gov/portals/1/Documents/Pubs/332-036.pdf
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/Rsg.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12069883