The chef’s environment is loud, non-stop, heated in every sense of the word, and supremely dangerous. We take a look at some of the most dangerous, and strangest, incidents to happen in commercial kitchens.
Every commercial kitchen is fraught with disasters waiting to happen and it can take even the tiniest of mistakes for things to boil over. When they do, the consequences can mean serious personal injury, damage to your business reputation or could even stop your production in its tracks entirely. We pick out some of the worst incidents as well as some of the strangest.
A bad slice
When Pig & Khao chef, Leon Cohen sliced her thumb with a butcher’s knife, she assumed it was just another cut, so she went to the hospital and had five stitches. A week later, she we back to the hospital as she couldn’t bend her thumb. As it turned out, she’d sliced her tendon which required emergency surgery and months of physio.
One Dutch chef cooking gnocchi tried pouring water down the drain, dropped the pot only for the boiling water to splash up into her face. She suffered first degree burns, had weeks off work but, luckily, avoided any scars. When a takeaway worker dropped his tongs into a deep fat fryer, he, without thinking, put in his arm to grab them out.
Perils at your fingertips
Whilst cuts and slices are one of the most common injury types in commercial kitchens, the extreme of this can be career-threatening. One chef reported to cutting almost a centimetre from his finger before picking it up and asking for help from his colleagues. Another case reported showed a cook using a glass-breaking device which neatly destroyed glass. When the cook’s hand became stuck in the device, the tips of two of his fingers were shaved cleanly off.
Slips and trips
Slips happen all the time since kitchens must be regularly cleaned and swept. When one chef was sweeping up after himself, he slipped on a mussel, slammed his knee into a counter and suffered ‘jumper’s knee’, known to be excruciatingly painful for those on their feet all day. When a waitress fell in the restaurant she worked at, the plates she was carrying shattered and drove into her arm, causing serious cuts.
Stranger than fiction
Perhaps most bizarre of all, comes from Japanese chef and restaurant chain owner, Mashaharu Morimoto. On one shift, Morimoto lost a live crab in his kitchen. He searched high and low for it but it seemed it had already made its escape. Four months later, Morimoto underwent a deep clean of his kitchen and moved major appliances to get behind them. When he moved one of the fridges, he found the long-lost crab alive and nipping.
What can you do?
It’s common sense that tells us that commercial kitchens are disaster-ridden areas just waiting for something to go wrong. Yet, though it may seem it often, it’s not always common sense that dictates these types of disasters. Sure, trailing wires, wet floors and live food might be a clue, but other risks are much more hidden.
Considering initial risks is one thing, but what about consequential damage? A fire could spread and burn down your restaurant, or you could struggle to replace staff or equipment.
At Full Time Cover, we go above and beyond to ensure your restaurant or hotel kitchen is well-prepared to handle incidents of any nature. Our insurance options are varied and can work to how you work. We’re hospitality insurance specialists, so you can count on us to deliver.
To find out more, get in touch with team now.