Independent caterer Ch&Co is preparing to segregate sections of kitchens and enacting a functional rota system to control the number of employees coming into a space as a part of its return-to-work strategy, this week’s IWFM webinar was told.
Emma Hill, group head of food, health, safety and environment at the company, told listeners to the latest episode in the IWFM ‘Navigating turbulent times’ webinar series that these kinds of measures had to be discussed with all team members – even furloughed staff. She also stressed that conducting a tailored risk assessment for any workplace that was considering opening or was already open was vital.
“We are a multi-site caterer and we have a thousand sites across UK and Ireland,” she said. “From that aspect, you have to look at what the local legislation is… you have to see how different places are doing things differently… Wales, Scotland and Ireland are all doing things slightly differently.”
Hill, who is also deputy chair of the IWFM Catering SIG, added: “We have our own set of risk assessments but then we also work with the clients on-site to ensure they are tying in with what they want to do from a measure and control perspective. We have moved away from socially distancing and are calling it physical distancing because in a workplace that is what it is about.”
She said talking to staff “so that they are at ease” was important coupled with the training that “goes alongside that”.
This was the eighth episode in the IWFM's ‘Navigating turbulent times’ webinar series. The episode was titled ‘Loosening the lockdown – spotlight on catering’.
Other experts on the panel with Hill included: Zoe Watts (host), commercial director at Vacherin; Ros De Oliveira, UK facilities coordinator at ADP Ltd; Julian Fris, principal consultant at Neller Davies Ltd; Andy Jones, NHS catering adviser at AJ Associates; and Sam Tate, operations director at BaxterStorey.