If you’re running a business that relies on commercial cool rooms and industrial freezers, there are certain rules and regulations that you need to be aware of. Working with food involves a lot of workplace health and safety requirements that are in place to protect your customers, your staff and yourself.
In this article, we’re creating a comprehensive list of the health and safety requirements that regulate how we use cool rooms in Australia.
Keeping Food at a Specific Temperature at all Times
In order to reduce the risk of contamination and bacterial growth in your cool room, certain types of food must be kept below 5 degrees Celsius in a walk-in fridge. These high-risk foods can cause food poisoning if bacteria are allowed to multiply to unsafe levels. The danger zone is between 5 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius as this is the ideal environment for bacteria to grow and rapidly multiply.
You can increase the lifespan of your food by freezing it. Keeping your stock frozen at -18 degrees Celsius prevents bacteria from multiplying and spoiling the food. When you are thawing food, it should be kept in a refrigerator until the food is ready to be prepared.
Appropriate Training and Supervision
If your staff members are going to encounter industrial cool rooms and freezers, they need to receive appropriate training. Your business needs a clear procedure for reporting hazards and resolving issues, and this should be included in the employee’s induction.
The induction must cover:
- Potential hazards in specific areas where the employee may be required to work
- The level of risk control measures in place
- The level of supervisory control required in hazardous areas
- Task-specific training
- Some form of competency-based assessment to ensure the employee understands everything covered in the induction
Designing an Efficient and Safe Cool Room
There are many aspects to designing an efficient cool room, and it’s common to overlook safety requirements until it’s too late. Some factors to consider include:
- Making sure there are no internal pillars in large-scale cool rooms that will obstruct forklifts (if you intend on using forklifts)
- Providing adequate lighting throughout the cool room
- Provisions for a hoist or other mechanical aid that assists with raising and lowering equipment and stock
- Appropriately designed walkways and/or work platforms
- Ceilings and floors that can handle additional weight from ice build-up
- Drainage points to remove excess water
Discuss your needs with a specialist cooling company to ensure your cool room meets the precise requirements of your business. You may have additional safety requirements, depending on the scope of your operations.
Speak to the Professionals at Cold-Rite
To design a cool room that meets Australian health and safety requirements while improving the efficiency of your business, speak to the team at Cold-Rite in Sydney. Request a quick quote online to see how we can help!