Health and safety tips for restaurants

July 17th, 2015 Category: Commercial

Managers working within the catering and hospitality industry face a unique set of risks and responsibilities.

For this reason, hygiene and cleanliness must be at the heart of everything that you do.

Of course, to an extent, this is an obvious consideration that is applicable to any business.

However, when it comes to catering, it is necessary to be extra vigilant about the possible risk scenarios and put in place suitable safety arrangements to mitigate them.


The mistake many restaurants and catering establishments make is that they try to do the cleaning in-house.

For some smaller outlets this may work fairly well, but for mid-sized and larger establishments this is not ideal.

Instead, it is important for different staff members to have very clearly defined roles, and to be focused on those positions.

For example, getting the head chef to clean the toilets or carry out general maintenance duties, leaves you more vulnerable to cross-contamination and basic errors.

For this reason, it is much better to employ a dedicated cleaning company to undertake those important duties for you.

These companies are highly experienced in the basic cleaning duties, as well as specialist cleaning tasks such as oven cleaning, window cleaning, environmental cleanups and so on.

This will ensure that the restaurant is cleaned to a high standard.


Regular internal inspections and audits are necessary to ensure that any problems are flagged up at an early stage.

This should not just include inspections of the cleanliness of the restaurants, but should also analyse food safety, health and safety and the working practices of staff members.

Results of these inspections should be documented and recorded, with a detailed plan of how any issues will be resolved.

Health and Safety and managing risks

The Health and Safety Executive has published guidance for businesses carrying out their first risk assessment. 

Within this guidance are details on standard layouts for risk assessments and health and safety policies, which you can simply fill in with the necessary details.

Not only should you examine obvious risks such as fire hazards, but you should also look at any possible obstructions, hygiene and other risk factors.

Food handling

Steps should be taken to prevent cross-contamination and ensuring that food sources are safe.

The health of your workers is also key here, as employees who are unwell or sick are high risk in terms of food safety.

Processes should also be in place to ensure food is stored properly, and the handling of hot and cold food is managed properly.