Safe Working Practices in Galley


Work in the galley

Safe Working Practices Regulations, Section 4(a).

  • Health and Hygiene

Catering staff should maintain high standards of personal hygiene and cleanliness in the galley, pantry and mess rooms.

  • Slips, Falls and Tripping Hazards

Slips, trips and falls cause the most injuries to the catering staff




.Most injuries to catering staff are caused by slips, trips and falls. Take care when moving about the ship, keep decks and gratings free from grease, spills and rubbish, and wear suitable shoes with slip-resistant soles





  • Galley Stores and Steam Boilers

The indiscriminate use of water in hosing down and washing equipment in the galley can be dangerous. Before washing down the deck, make sure that electric ranges and all electrical equipment have been isolated from the power supply.

Always follow the set procedures of lighting oil-fired galley stoves, and keep clear of the burners when lighting them to avoid flashbacks. If the first attempt is unsuccessful, or the burners go out, ventilate the stove before relighting. Ensure that the galley fuel control valve is set correctly and that the stove does not overheat. Don't stand directly in front of an oven when the door is opened; the initial heat blast can cause burns.Everything must be secured in case of rough weather

You should use range guard rails, particularly in rough weather. Never fill pots and pans so full that the contents slop over when the ship rolls. Cloths for handling hot pans and dishes should be dry; wet ones conduct the heat and this may cause burns.

Do not melt grease in ovens. If forgotten, it may overheat and catch fire. Never use water to put out a grease fire. The water turns into steam, throwing the grease considerable distances, which can cause severe burns and may start a fire. Smother the flames of a grease fire with a lid or fire blanket; turn off the heat source when possible, or remove the container from the source of heat. Otherwise, use a suitable fire extinguisher - a foam, carbon dioxide or dry power type, depending on which is handy.

Catering Equipment

Before using catering machines, make sure that guards are securely in position around dangerous parts. Don't operate electrical equipment when your hands are wet.

When cleaning or removing a blockage from a power-operated machine, first switch off the machine and isolate it from its power supply. Some machines continue to run down for a while after they are switched off, so you should ensure that dangerous parts have come to rest before you clean them.

Knives, Saws, Choppers, etc.

Keep all knives, saws and choppers sharp and clean, and see that handles are secure and free from grease. Store knives in a rack or drawer; do not leave them on benches or submerged in sinks where unseen blades may be grasped.

When chopping foodstuffs, keep your fingers bent in towards your palm with thumb overlapped by forefinger. The knife should be held at an angle so that the movement of blade is away from your fingers. Don't force a meatsaw. Use the forefinger of your free hand to guide and steady the blade. Always be careful when using a chopper or cleaver and pay full attention to what you are doing.

 Secure chopping technique

Refrigerated Rooms and Store Rooms


Before entering a refrigerated store room, make sure that someone knows you are there. Secure the door open firmly when handling stores. Never enter a refrigerated room if you suspect that the refrigerant is leaking.


Accidents don't just happen. Most can be foreseen and prevented. No matter how routine your job, make a habit of adopting the recommended safe working procedures.


The Canadian Coast Guard issues public reports on serious casualties and accidents aboard ship. You may find that a few minutes spent reading them will give you some insights into what causes accidents and how to prevent them. Ask your officers if these reports are available.

Proper Food Storage Management

Receiving Provisions
It is important to use reputable suppliers but basic control measures should also be taken before storing supplies to check if the food is fi t for consumption, with a suitable shelf life compatible with the vessel’s trading pattern. Since stores are often delivered “Free Alongside Ship”, this control has to take place before storing them on
A simple check list should be used covering expiry dates, condition of the packages, and temperatures of chilled and frozen goods.
Do not accept damaged packages or rusted tins. Chilled goods with a temperature above 7°C have to be refused. Some goods like egg products (4°c), minced meat (2°c),
and fresh fi sh (0-2 ° c) have to be delivered at a specific temperature that should be checked. The temperature of frozen goods should be -18°c or less. Ice crystals on frozen packages suggest improper storing arrangements prior to delivery.
Stock Control
Ships should have adequate storerooms including dry and cold storerooms and freezers. If storing capacity is limited, stock should be reduced and stores taken more frequently. Food should not be stored on deck. Store in such a way that commodities are used in strict date rotation (First in = First out). Perishable food in particular should not be ordered nor accepted in quantities that cannot be consumed before the expiry date. Frozen foods
maintained in hard frozen condition may be consumed beyond the date marking.


Deep Freezers
Temperature in freezers should be maintained at -18˚C at least, but some tolerance levels should be allowed to take account of equipment. It is unlikely that short periods of -15˚C will affect the quality and safety of frozen food. Regular maintenance should include checks on door seals, isolation of the doors, defrosting and checks on the correct functioning of thermometers.
Every time you enter the freezer room, the holding temperature is affected. Organise requirements to ensure access is kept to a minimum. Always close the door immediately on exit. Do not put food on the deck, but use the grids available.
Never put food in direct line of the cooling unit fan as this restricts air circulation and can lead to freezer burn.

Safety in Storerooms
● Avoid the use of meat hooks
● Always wear gloves, safety shoes and warm clothes when entering a deep freezer environment
● Defrost the deep freezer before cleaning it


Proper Storage Techniquesfor Fresh Produce
Promptly put away fresh fruits and vegetables that need refrigeration.
The following are the different condition requirements for keeping fresh fruit and vegetables at their optimum freshness :

● Store only in the refrigerator and never at Room Temperature to avoid spoilage:

apples,artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets, blueberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, Belgian endive, carrots, caulifl ower, celery, cherries, sweet corn, cranberries, cucumbers, eggplant, ginger root, grapes, fresh herbs, leeks, lettuce and other greens, mushrooms, green onions, parsnips, peas, peppers, pineapple, new potatoes, radishes, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, squash, citrus fruit, turnips.

● Store at Room Temperature until ripe and then in the refrigerator:

apricots, avocados, kiwifruit, mangoes, melons, nectarines, papaya, peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes.
● Store only at Room Temperature and preferably not in the refrigerator:

bananas, garlic, globe onions, mature potatoes, pumpkins, rutabagas, sweet potatoes. Keep fruit and vegetables well ventilated and stored in suitable boxes or containers. Plastic bags should be discarded as this material does not generally allow for proper ventilation, causing sweating to occur. Inspect every day and remove spoiled items, leaves etc.

 Dry Stores
Use a register to keep track of dry stores. Check for the presence of pests or vermin. Check flour and rice for insects. Remove blown tins. Dry stores should be cool, around 10°C, dry, well lit andventilated.Do not put stores directly on the deck or against the walls. Clean the dry store regularly and remove waste immediately.

Bacterial Contamination
Food poisoning bacteria are found on people, insects, rodents, refuse and waste food, even dust. Cooking food thorougly will destroy most harmful bacteria.
Harmful bacteria will multiply rapidly if food is incorrectly prepared and stored. Even if food is correctly prepared and
stored it can be cross-contaminated from raw food by using the same utensils for instance.
High risk products frequently associated with food poisoning should be carefully stored and protected from contamination. These products are generally high protein, ready to eat foods including cooked meats, poultry and raw or cooked fi sh, gravy and stock, milk, cream and eggs and any associated by-product.
Food should be covered to prevent cross-contamination.

  • Main reasons for food poisoning are :
  • 1) Undercooking - Ensure that food is thoroughly cooked ! - e.g. juices from poultry and joints of meat should run clear !
  • 2) Unsafe temperatures used to store prepared food.
  • 3) Preparation of food too far in advance and storage at room temperature.
  • 4) Cooling food too slowly before refrigeration.
  • 5) Unsafe temperatures in refrigerator and freezer.
  • 6) Food stored incorrectly in the refrigerator : uncovered raw food, raw food together with or above prepared dishes, etc.
  • 7) Unsafe temperature used to keep hot food (below 63°Celsius).
  • 8) Bad personal hygiene.
  • aaa

Personal Hygiene

  • At one time or another, most people carry some type of food poisoning organisms. Catering crew must therefore take extreme care with personal cleanliness to avoid contaminating food.

Hands must be kept clean and washed, especially:

● After using the toilet
● After handling raw meat
● Before handling prepared food

There must be sufficient hand-wash basins with soap and hand drying facility. Disposable towels or a hot air dryer are better than a traditional towel. If protective gloves are used, they should be replaced in much the same order as the hand washing routine.

  • ● Keep hair covered

● Keep fi nger nails short
● Wear clean clothes and apron

Fitness to work
Persons suspected of, diagnosed with, or exposed to any disease that can be transmitted by food, should be excluded from the galley and other associated catering areas or food related areas or operations, including working with exposed food, warewashing, equipment, utensils, table linens, singleservice and single-use articles.
Persons who have conditions or symptoms of boils, open sores, infected wounds, diarrhoea, jaundice, fever, vomiting, sore throat with fever, or discharges from the nose or mouth should report these conditions or symptoms and should be restricted from working with exposed food, warewashing, clean equipment, utensils, table linens, and unwrapped single-service and single-use articles.
Persons experiencing persistent sneezing, coughing, a runny nose or discharges from the eyes or mouth, may not work with exposed food, warewashing clean equipment, utensils, and table linens; or unwrapped singleservice or single-use articles.
The restricted individuals should not be allowed to return to the above duties until they are symptom free for a minimum of 48 hours.

Separate raw and cooked food !

  • aaa2

Raw food can cross-contaminate cooked food or food that does not require further preparation before consumption, and cause foodborne illness. Keep raw and cooked food separate and covered.
Separate work surfaces, chopping boards and utensils should be set aside for the preparation of raw meat and must not be used for the preparation of foods that will be eaten without further cooking. Using the same work surface must be discouraged but in the unlikely event that the same work surface has to be used, great care must be taken to ensure it is cleaned and disinfected between handling raw and cooked meats or other ready to eat products.
Have clean plates and cooking utensils ready.
Never use the same plate, tray or utensils for raw and cooked food. Raw meat juices can spread bacteria to your safely cooked food and cause foodborne illness !


  • Use of eggs
  • If raw eggs are used take the following precautions :

● The eggs have to be as fresh as possible : check the dates on the package.
● After the expiry date the eggs must be destroyed.
● After breaking the eggs the shells should be removed immediately, the surface cleaned and disinfected.
● After handling eggs and egg shells, wash hands.
● Broken eggs that are not used immediately may be placed in the refrigerator, covered, but must be used within 48 hours.
● Preparations with raw egg like mayonnaise, chocolate mousse and tiramisu must be cooled immediately after preparation.

  • Cleaning and Disinfection

Clean the pantry regularly, with hot water and soap, keeping food off the deck. Store food in sealed containers. Thoroughly clean and disinfect containers and utensils that were in contact with raw food before you reuse them.
Implements that come into direct contact with food should be washed, rinsed with hot water and disinfected before use. Articles include: trays, knives, cutting boards, food preparation machinery and work tops. A cleaning procedure is useful as it clarifi es who cleans what, when, with which cleaning products and how. Take small appliances apart (food processors, meat grinders and blenders) right after you use them, and clean and disinfect them thoroughly. Only use accepted detergents.
Ventilation hoods and grease fi lters should be cleaned regularly. Refrigerators, deep freezers, deck heads and neon covers should not be forgotten.

  • Bleach sanitizer

● Combine 5 ml (1 tsp) of bleach with 750 ml (3 cups) of water in a labelled spray bottle.

● After cleaning, spray sanitizer on the surface/utensil and let stand briefl y.

● Rinse with lots of clean water, and air dry (or use clean towels).

Cleaning and disinfecting products have to be kept in a separate well maintained place.
Good housekeeping should help to discourage pests and vermin. Routine inspections should be carried out. If problems arise, actions should be carried out according to a logical plan with pest control and monitoring procedures. Chemical pesticides must to be kept separately and locked away safely.
Places where wastewater is collected have to be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Air dry dishes and utensils if you can, or dry them with clean kitchen towels.


  • Deep frying pan

The temperature of oil or fat in the deep frying pans has to be controlled. A thermostat on the pan is a necessity. The thermostat should indicate the desired temperature and this temperature has to be checked regularly with a portable thermometer. The temperature of oil or fat should never go above 180°C and oil or fat should be replaced regularly.



At room temperature harmful bacteria will grow quite quickly. Food normally associated with buffets (apart from low risk food such as bread rolls for example) should not therefore be exposed to temperatures in the “DangerZone”

  • Units and equipment must be able to maintain safe temperatures. Containers should not be "topped up"

● hot food 63˚C or above;

● cold food 5˚C or less

  • with further food. Replacement containers with a batch of fresh food should be provided.
  • aaa4Leftovers

Proper portion management should reduce the amount of “leftover” food. However in the event of having leftovers certain standards must be applied.
● Hot cooked meats should be cooled as quickly as possible in a clean controlled environment then refrigerated.
● Dividing a large portion helps the cooling process.
● Warm food must not be refrigerated as it will increase the fridge temperature.
● Once chilled, leftovers should be served cold the following day.

  • Important:

It is not good practice to reheat dishes or freeze leftovers because the additional heating and defrosting process is likely to encourage bacterial growth.
When in doubt, throw it out !!