GREENSBORO, NC -- The health department requires restaurants to have different sinks for different purposes - like a sink for washing pots, a sink for seafood and a sink just for washing hands. It's to try to keep all the different kinds of bacteria from spreading around the kitchen.
Inspectors cited one area restaurant because only it had three handsinks but only one was working. What's the big deal? We asked chef and GTCC instructor Keith Gardiner to explain in this Restaurant Report Card lesson.
Keith says, "Usually the number of hand sinks the establishment has is determined by the number of employees and the size of the operation, so that each employee has easy access to a hand sink. So if the size of the place warrants three and only one is working, then your only working at 1/3 capacity."
Keith says reducing the number makes it hard for people to clean their hands. "Washing your hands often and in-between each task is probably the number one thing you can do to keep yourself and customers safe. Having easy access to a hand sink helps promote that and it just makes a safer operation. Me, as an employee, if I can't get to the hand sink quick, I might just wipe my hands off on my apron or not wash them or do something because it's too far away."
Keith says it's also about employee safety. "For instance, if I have to go down the hot line or across the path of a lot of other employees in a kitchen, I run the risk of getting cut by someone else's knife or slipping and falling, getting burned by someone else. There's a lot of other dangers involved with that too."
Restaurants can lose up to two points for this violation.