What does a cook do?
The main duties of cooks in restaurants, hotels, healthcare facilities and schools include the following:
- Plan and prepare menus, and determine food portions and quantities needed.
- Pay attention to special dietary needs, if applicable.
- Monitor and order supplies.
- Clean up kitchen or work area.
- Supervise kitchen staff.
What are some health and safety issues for cooks?
Working with food presents its own unique set of potential hazards. Some of the main ones are:
What are some preventive measures for cooks?
- Wash hands frequently.
- Learn safe lifting techniques.
- Know how to work with all equipment and tools required for the job.
- Keep the work area tidy.
- Conduct regular inspections of the equipment and identify defects. Have equipment removed from service until fixed or replaced.
- Take breaks. Change tasks to reduce repetitive strain injuries.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including safety shoes with non-skid soles, and eye protection.
- Keep a first-aid kit within easy access.
- Keep a mobile phone or other alternative means to contact a designated person when working alone.
- Know how to report hazards.
What are some good general safe work practices?
- Practice safe lifting techniques.
- Inspect the work area before each shift.
- Exercise caution when working with knives and other sharp equipment.
- Store tools in the designated areas after use.
- Use, maintain and store personal protective equipment according to manufacturers' recommendations.
- Follow company safety rules.
- Follow good housekeeping procedures.
- Participate in WHMIS education and training. Read the material safety data sheet (MSDS) for any hazardous product that you use and follow recommended safety precautions.
Where can I get more information?
General information is available in OSH Answers or through the CCOHS person-to-person Inquiries Service.
Document last updated on July 14, 2014
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