It’s probably your busiest time of year, with church events and hall hire putting your kitchen to the test. Now’s the time to make sure that everyone is up to speed on kitchen safety.
Who is using your kitchen? First things first: who uses your kitchen? Is it a professional team, a group of volunteers, or a mix of both? If it’s professionals (such as an external catering company) it’s likely that they will be well versed in food safety and hygiene, but always check with the manager.
For volunteers it could be a good idea to make sure that everyone is encouraged to do their Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene training. A simple online course, it doesn’t take much time to complete and will make everyone more confident that the kitchen is being used correctly.
Some churches, like Canterbury Baptist Church, also require anyone hiring the kitchen to have a Level 2 certificate. It can be restrictive for last minute hire, but is good practice for a well run kitchen.
Training on site Christmas is busy enough as it is, but a brief training session with regular kitchen volunteers is a great idea, especially just before the silly season begins in earnest. Take an afternoon to spend an hour going over the hygiene basics, how to use all the kitchen equipment properly and what to do in an emergency.
Cooking tips If you have time, you could incorporate a quick cooking 101 into the training hour, with tips on the best ways to cook, heat and serve different foods. You could even arrange a real cooking lesson as a Christmas get-together for your hardworking volunteers.
However, if you can’t manage this before Christmas, it is a good idea to print out some ‘need to know’ food advice – such as the safe temperature to cook a chicken, or how to safely keep food warm – and keep a laminated chart on the wall along with a few copies in the drawer. Food.gov.uk is a great resource for information like this, and all posters and packs are free to download.
Everyday maintenance Most people will know how to clean their kitchen at home, but a kitchen that serves food to the wider public often needs a more thorough approach.
A good cleaning routine will help to keep your kitchen spick and span. Make sure that everyone knows the drill by posting a laminated checklist in the door of the cleaning cupboard, to make sure that nothing is missed out.
For more practical tips on keeping your kitchen up to code, take a look at some of our previous articles:
A semi-commercial kitchen can help you keep your church kitchen safe, clean and looking like new for years to come. Contact Steelplan Kitchen’s specialists on 0844 809 9186 to find out about obtaining a free no-obligation quote for your church.