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.
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.
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:
Rules and Regulations: Selling Food and Drink
Safety First: Staying out of Hot Water
Safety First: What’s your policy?
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.
The inherent strength of metal and a combination of the benefits listed on this page mean that a steel Kitchen will far exceed the life expectancy of a standard wooden carcass kitchens in semi-commercial environments.
The polyester powder coated steel is impervious to water. No more swollen chipboard or rotting MDF.
The metal is fire resistant and the powder coat finish formulated so that no toxic fumes are emitted in the case of fire.
Unlike wooden/chipboard cabinets the Steelplan Kitchen carcass does not contain any material that may sustain, harbour or encourage insects or bacteria.
The powder coated finish means that the units can be kept to an extremely high level of cleanliness and hygiene at all times. Essential when used in health locations.
It looks great! The hidden steel backbone is dressed up with a choice of doors to produce whatever look and feel you want.