Food service: 5 must-have features for your safety shoes
Food service is an industry where risks are everywhere for staff. You can slip, fall, bump or even get burned. To combat these hazards, it's ideal to wear protective gear, like safety shoes. But how do you know what footwear is best when you work in the kitchen? Find out about the standards that govern this industry and the essential features of safety shoes for fully protected feet.
The kitchen: a sensitive and hostile environment
The importance of impeccable hygiene
In order to control the sanitary safety of foodstuffs in kitchens, the catering sector relies on the HACCP system (also known as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system). This method concerns both the sanitary quality of the premises, equipment and products, as well as the good practices of the personnel. Thus, the risks of contamination are limited in a proactive way.
In addition, effective and regular cleaning of equipment (e.g. washing and degreasing of fume hoods) and personnel (e.g. hand washing or wearing of hairnets, gloves and other hygiene equipment) are essential to guarantee a impeccable hygiene in the kitchen.
The protection of the personnel, just as essential
The CHSW imposes very strict safety standards on all professionals, including those working in the food industry. Indeed, these sectors can be very hostile for the personnel who must face numerous risks such as burns, shocks, cuts, skids, etc.
The protection of the latter is achieved through work clothes (jacket and pants), which do not only have a hygienic or aesthetic vocation. Indeed, these clothes also constitute real protective equipmentThey are not only hygienic or aesthetic, but also protective equipment, especially against the environment (flames and heat in particular).
In such an environment, foot protection must not be neglected. For this reason, the following standards are applicable to the catering industry:
- Standards to fight against slippage (SRA, SRB and SRC standards). The first one fights against slipping on ceramic floors with the addition of sodium lauryl sulfate (detergent product). The second guarantees stability on steel floors covered with glycerine. And the third combines the first two.
- The HRO standard is an additional standard that certifies that the outsole (the one in contact with the ground) resists a heat of 300°C. Essential when working daily with food or equipment heated to very high temperatures.
These 2 types of standards are part of the criteria for obtaining the EN ISO 20345 standard. Thus, even if moccasins and kitchen clogs are tolerated in the sector, only safety sneakers that are EN ISO 20345 certified are the only ones that can really fight against all the dangers present in the kitchen.
The essential qualities of safety shoes in the kitchen
Water, the layer of grease that forms after a few hours in the kitchen, and detergents on the floor all constitute a definite danger of slipping or even falling for the staff. Unless they are equipped with safety shoes with anti-slip soles (SRC).
It is not uncommon to drop a knife or any other blunt object in the kitchen. Not to mention the risk of dropping heavy objects like pots and pans. The fall of these objects on the foot can have irreversible consequences. It is therefore essential to wear safety shoes with protective toecaps.
Protective against heat
To prevent foot burns from hot liquid splashing on the floor or a hot pan landing on your feet, there is nothing like an HRO rated sole.
You work all day on your feet, on a hard floor, almost every day of the week. Your feet want one thing: lightness and comfort. Ultra-light materials and improved weight distribution are your best weapons for getting through the day in these conditions. Also remember to choose an insole that fits your foot shape for total comfort.
For perfect foot hygiene, focus on ventilation! Materials such as ventilated mesh ensure good breathability of the foot in order to fight against humidity and perspiration despite the efforts of the day. Goodbye to the proliferation of fungus that leads to disease and bad odors.
As you can see, safety shoes are not only for the building trade. Working in the restaurant industry also means facing many dangers. For that, there is nothing like light, protective and comfortable safety shoes. In addition, they will allow you to remain productive and motivated despite the obstacles.