Community kitchen SOS: Problems you need to fix right now
January 4, 2024 by wpjX9tncTJIl
If you don’t have the right type of kitchen in your community hub, wear and tear is inevitable. After all, with regular use by large numbers a domestic-style kitchen with wooden units won’t stay fresh and new for very long at all.
If you haven’t already seen our ‘Church Kitchen SOS’ article, be sure to give it a look. For now, let’s look at your community kitchen, what you can do to keep it safe, hygienic, and pleasant for everyone to use, and how a semi-commercial kitchen from Steelplan helps you do that.
VINYL-WRAPPED MDF DOORS AND SURFACES
Domestic-style kitchens often feature vinyl-wrapped MDF surfaces, which don’t stand up to the heavy use of a community kitchen. They are prone to peeling and bubbling, which not only ruins their appearance, but also jeopardises the cleanliness of the surface.
How? Because the more it peels, the more the MDF is exposed, which can then absorb moisture and become a breeding ground for bacteria (and become unsightly).
In addition, don’t be fooled by kitchen suppliers or manufacturers that offer ‘plastic-edging’ to their vinyl doors, as these can ultimately be a tempting thing for people to pick at.
So how do you fix it? By replacing MDF with a Zintec polyester powder-coated mild steel carcass, and a stainless-steel work surface with a folded upstand. That eliminates the risk of peeling, and also provides a durable, hygienic surface which will last for a considerable amount of time.
You also have the option to customise your kitchen with a varied choice of colours to help promote a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere.
When hosting events at a community centre, you can expect to have lots of children running around. Of course, with children present, there’s a whole host of extra health and safety precautions that need to be taken into consideration.
For starters, you can expect that children may manage to find their way into restricted or potentially unsafe areas, so it’s important you have measures in place to maximise safety and reduce risk of injury.
In the kitchen, this means lots of child locks and childproofing. With so many potential safety hazards, making sure no children can gain access to the cabinets or drawers is essential. You can find more child safety tips and tricks in our blog.
Believe it or not, even the layout of your community kitchen could be a safety hazard. It’s important to consider the proximity of your designated food prep, washing, and waste areas.
If they’re too close, you run the risk of cross-contamination. Keeping food preparation and serving areas separate from food wastage is basic best practice in kitchen design, and it’s critical for hygiene.
If that’s the case in your community kitchen, you should reconsider your layout. It might seem like a challenge if you have limited space, but Steelplan’s experts are here to help. Read more about our free design and consultation service.
EXPOSED SERVICE VOIDS
Take a look at the pipes that feed water and gas into your community kitchen space. Are they covered? Has space been left for them behind cabinets or wherever they are located?
For obvious health and safety reasons, it’s important that these pipes remain covered to stop dust and dirt from accumulating and kept in suitable working condition. It’s also worth noting that, if any DIY work has been done since the pipe installations, they might have been damaged in the process, which poses a major health and safety risk.
If you suspect the pipes have been damaged, your local trusted installation partner should be able to carry out basic repairs and offer advice regarding the extent of the damage. Gas-related issues will likely require the consultation of a special gas-safe engineer.
That said, if you are planning on upgrading your kitchen, the safety of these voids is factored into the kitchen design, so it’s one less thing for you to worry about.
We’re not just talking about shine – although that is equally important for a standout community kitchen. Your community centre is designed to bring people together, and your kitchen should be no exception. It should reflect the vibrancy, friendliness and openness of your community. It shouldn’t look bland and institutional.
Injecting some colour into your kitchen is a great way to bring your community hub to life. With a colourful powder-coated mild steel carcass and cabinets, you can customise the colour to suit the theme of your kitchen – whether you prefer bright primary colours or something a little more understated. Check out our kitchen colour guide here for advice.
TIME FOR A COMMUNITY KITCHEN TRANSFORMATION
If this article has highlighted a few problem areas in your community kitchen, it’s probably time to make a change. Steelplan specialises in building and designing functional, hygienic and aesthetically-pleasing semi-commercial kitchens for community centres, helping you to bring personality back to your kitchen area.
Get in touch with one of our experts today to find out how we can help you upgrade your kitchen so it reaches its full potential. [email protected]