Fortunately, most modern fryers are simple and easy to use. But whenever you add 400°F oil to the mix, extreme caution is essential. What follows is a list of things to consider (please see our disclaimer at the end) if your commercial kitchen prepares deep-fried food.
- When it comes to preventing fryer burns, the right footwear is quite possibly the most important safety precaution. Slipping and falling—and catching yourself by reaching your hand into the fryer—is frighteningly common.
Slip- and Grease-Resistant Floor Mats
- Always use slip-resistant mats near fryers.
Personal Safety Equipment
- Provide pot holders and oven mitts for lifting baskets, and steam-resistant gloves for changing or filtering oil.
- Make sure there is a class K fire extinguisher nearby in the event of an emergency.
Ladders and Footstools
- To discourage the (mis)use of boxes, carts, or other equipment and limit falls when reaching or climbing, provide secure ladders and footstools of the right size and keep them in good working condition.
Kitchen Layout and Storage
- Set up work areas to reduce the need for reaching and climbing near exposed oil. Store frequently used items on accessible shelves away from fryers.
- Keep fryer area free of clutter, electrical cords, etc.
- Lay out kitchen without tight or blind corners to avoid collisions; provide enough work space to avoid collisions near fryer.
Education and Training
- Fryer training: develop strict staff training/mentoring procedures to ensure safe operation and maintenance of your fryers.
- First aid training: first aid is the best way to minimize the damage caused by a fryer-related burns and carbon monoxide exposure. Ensure there is at least one first-aid trained staff member on duty at all times.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning awareness: educate staff about the specific procedures needed to prevent and respond to the symptoms of CO poisoning.
Quality Equipment and Oil
- Replace old fryers with newer models that have improved venting, grease-disposal systems, built-in grease filters, automatic food-lowering devices, and vat covers.
- Install fryer splash guards.
- Use higher quality oils to reduce the amount of splashing during deep frying.
Safe Cleaning and Grease Transport
- Clean fryers in the morning, when fryer oils have cooled.
- Establish clear safety procedures for the transport of used fryer oil.