Kitchen hygiene: your pandemic update


With many churches now re-opening their doors to more services and members of your congregation, it can be difficult to keep on top of all the new rules and regulations. Particularly when it comes to opening your community café or even just serving tea

Face masks, social distancing, continuous hand washing – the way you run services at your church have certainly changed over the last 12 months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your members and community feel welcome under your roof. Including keeping them fed and watered.

Sing while you wash
Fortunately, it’s very unlikely that COVID-19 is transmitted through food or packaging, but as a matter of good hygiene practice, it’s a good idea for everyone using your kitchen to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or while singing happy birthday. We advise doing this:

  • Before and after handling food, clean cutlery, dishes, mugs and other items that people in your church might use
  • After handling dirty or used items, such as those you might have loaded in to the dishwasher
  • After touching high-contact surfaces, such as door handles, work tops or cupboard doors
  • When moving between different areas of the church, for example, if you enter the kitchen after a service, you should always wash your hands before touching anything
  • After blowing your nose, coughing and sneezing, no matter where you are in your church
If you’re running a church café and continuing to serve food outdoors, it’s also important to take precautionary measures when serving uncovered food. You can do this by minimising direct hand contact with food with tongs and utensils, or using gloves when handling drinks or meals.

Steelplan top tip: Be aware that gloves can be contaminated with bacteria in the same way as hands, so they are not a substitute for good personal hygiene and hand washing. Hand sanitiser can also be used, but should never be a substitute to hand washing either.

What more do you need to know?
While it’s essential to keep your kitchen hygienic, there are also a number of measure in place across the UK to ensure you congregation and those visiting your church are kept safe and well during the pandemic. These include:

  • Carrying out services in the shortest possible time to ensure minimum spread of infection
  • Ensuring worshippers keep a 2m distance from anyone not in their household or bubble
  • Encouraging people to leave the building as soon as possible after a service – you can, of course, serve tea and coffee outside if you’d like to
  • Not sharing prayer mats, service sheets, religious texts or hymn books. Instead, you can ask worshippers to bring their own or print disposable copies
  • Allowing a small group of singers to perform indoors – a congregation can then join in outdoors as long as social distancing rules are followed
With rules and regulations constantly changing across the UK, it can be difficult to ensure you’re following them correctly. Yet, if you keep good hygiene practices at the top of your agenda, it’ll be simple to keep your visitors safe and well.

If you’re looking to start a new kitchen project in your church, the Steelplan Kitchens team can help bring it to life. Call us on 0844 809 9186 and we can arrange a socially-distanced or virtual meeting to hear more about your plans for the future

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