The environment in a professional kitchen is such that requires discipline, concentration and of course hygiene at all times. This is so because it’s easy to cause an accident when you don’t take protection and cleanliness seriously, which goes to show the importance of uniforms.
Still, if I have to single out essential bits of these uniforms, it would have to be the professional kitchen aprons, given their versatility. Even though it might not seem so, they can benefit a kitchen worker in many ways.
When cooking, the person is exposed to risks of burns and spills, especially when working with hot oils and grease, as well as when handling hot pots and pans, which is where the apron comes to the rescue. Depending on the materials it’s made of, it can act as a protective layer for the body, keeping the risks at bay.
Wherever there’s food, there’s also the risk of exposure to bacteria that can cause foodborne diseases resulting in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. Other than proper food storage and handling, when working in a restaurant one should also be extra careful to avoid food contamination from bacteria carried on a chef’s skin and personal clothing.
The best way to do so is by caring for personal hygiene and wearing the proper uniform in the kitchen, as in the case with aprons. Same as with accessories like hair and beard nets, they help protect the food from contaminants, and it’s not all there is to them. The kitchen aprons also protect a cook’s clothing from the occasional spills and stains; imagine the impression customers would get if a chef appears to greet them with his or her uniform full of stains!
The easiest way to spot employees out of a group of people that includes customers is through the clothes. Though it might not be the main reason to make professional kitchen aprons part of your uniform, they certainly can be of help with indicating an employee’s position in the restaurant and kitchen. So yes, they come in handy with identification too!
Working in a big kitchen with tools, utensils and ingredients scattered all over means wasting a great deal of time when fetching them. Wearing an apron that’s got a design with lots of pockets, compartments and attachments is crucial as the cook is able to have all the essential items at hand which results in an increase in efficiency.
Fashion may be the last thing on a chef’s mind, however, the truth is the apron is an item that can add to a uniform’s stylishness. Unlike years ago when aprons were rather plain, nowadays the design options differ in materials, patterns, colours and accessories, and as such, they can add interest to an outfit. Having this in mind, they can be used as tools to promote the restaurant, especially when the logo is printed or embroidered on them.
Choosing the Right Apron
Since there’s a vast array of options, it could be somewhat difficult to take a pick from the vast range of kitchen aprons for sale. Well, if you take the following aspects into account, you should be able to avoid the struggle and find the right one for your cooking needs.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects, it indicates the level of protection you can expect to get from an apron. The choice comes down to your job specifically, whether you’re handling hot oils frequently or not, to determine the type of material that would suit you most.
In addition, it’s advisable to consider the work environment, particularly the temperature in the kitchen itself. If you work in an area that tends to heat up easily, then in order to stay comfortable, you require something lightweight that can keep you cool.
Now, this one refers to the business of a kitchen, and whether or not the apron would go through lots of wear and tear so you’d be able to decide on its durability. Moreover, you should consider as well the kind of tools you’re mostly working with because handling sharp knives on a daily basis means you need more protection to reduce the instances of cuts.
When you cook in a kitchen where you get stained frequently, it’s needless to say you have to wash up the apron more often. Taking your work area and tasks into consideration would give you a hint on the washable properties you need in an apron and help you out when you get to choose from a wide range of fabrics.
When you don’t make the right choice and end up buying one that’s rather complicated when it comes to cleanliness (i.e. doesn’t wash easily, doesn’t dry fast) it can only make things more difficult for you. Think of it this way, you’d require the purchase of more than one spare, thus you’d spend more than you wanted to in the first place.