The purpose of a deep fat fryer safety program is to put work practices and procedures in place to protect workers who are especially at risk of burn injuries while cooking with or cleaning fryers or vents above fryers. Burns can occur from contact with the fryer itself, hot splashing oil, and when straining the oil or moving the fryer. In addition, workers may be exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning from malfunctioning exhaust systems on portable fryer units. Symptoms include headaches, confusion, nausea, and dizziness.
- Follow child labor laws that do not permit workers younger than 16 to cook, except at soda fountains, lunch counters, snack bars, and cafeteria serving counters.
Follow the safe work practices below:
- Consider replacing older deep fat fryer models with newer models that have exhaust vents in closer proximity to the fryer, built-in grease filters, improved grease-disposal systems, automatic food-lowering devices, and vat covers.
- Use the appropriate quality oil for your fryer. Some employers find that using higher quality oils reduces the amount of splashing during deep-frying.
- Install slip-resistant flooring near hot surfaces and cooking appliances.
- Educate staff and management to recognize and respond to the symptoms of CO poisoning as noted above.
- Before using fryer, train in proper use and maintenance.
- Exercise caution when working around hot oil.
- Observe all safety procedures and wear provided PPE while preparing hot items.
- Wear slip-resistant shoes.
- Use gloves, scrapers, and other cleaning tools with handles provided by your employer.
- Use the correct grease level and cooking temperatures for your deep fryer.
- Keep stove surfaces clean to prevent grease flare-ups.
- Avoid reaching over or climbing on top of fryers and other hot surfaces.
- Clean vents when oil is cool.
- Keep floor surfaces clean and dry to prevent slipping/falling onto hot surfaces.
- Clean floors often with grease-cutting solutions of proper strength to cut through grease.
- When floor is wet or has other present slip/fall hazards, don’t work closely to hot fryers.
- Don’t spill water/ice into oil. Don’t store drinks nearby, which could fall into fryers and cause a flare-up.
- Don’t overfill or pour excessive amounts of frozen fries into deep fryer at one time. Overfilling causes excessive splashing and bubbling over.
- Don’t pour excess ice from fry packages into the fryer.
- Don’t overheat the oil; use only manufacturer recommended cooking temperatures.
- Don’t move or strain hot oil containers; wait until the oil is cool!
- Don’t store oil on floors by grill area; someone could slip and fall into the oil.
- Extinguish hot oil/grease fires by using a class K fire extinguisher. Employees should know extinguisher and fire suppression valve locations.