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Common Catering Mishaps and What to Do


Catering is a business where the risk of accidents or unforeseen circumstances happening is high; due to the nature of the work involved. From using sharp implements and heat, to carrying/storing and transporting food, to serving and clearing meals, to ensuring the highest standards of hygiene throughout, means that both the public as well as employees can be negatively affected by common catering mishaps.

What are the potential risks

Whether you are a private caterer, running a School or business cafeteria or own some kind of eatery or take-away; here are a list of common catering mishaps and what to do if they happen to you.

  • Burns from appliances, ovens, hot oil and more. The speed of treating any burn is imperative to minimise any resulting damage. Apply cool (not cold or freezing) water for 20 minutes and then wrap in a sterile dressing. Any severe burns or burns greater than the size of a credit card should always receive professional medical attention. Burns dressings are a useful First Aid kit staple in a catering environment as they work by drawing the heat away from the burn without the need for water/the burn being pre-cooled.
  • Cuts from sharp knives and kitchen implements. Apply pressure direct to the cut to stem and stop any bleeding and assess whether professional medical attention is needed. This is necessary if the cut is deeper than ¼”, in a high-risk area such as near an eye, or if bleeding is heavy or does not stop after a maximum of twenty minutes. Antiseptic wipes and Elastoplasts can be applied to minor cuts but Elastoplasts MUST be catering approved due to the risk of coming loose and entering the food chain.
  • Slips, trips, falls on wet or greasy floors. If someone falls then resolve or isolate any trip hazard immediately to prevent further mishaps and assess the condition of the person to decide on course of action/treatment. Lack of consciousness, head or neck injuries, broken bones and/or heavy bleeding always necessitate the need for professional medical attention.


Please Note that any accident should always be recorded in the accident book.

The catering trade is full of potential hazards but quality Health and Safety, Food Hygiene and First Aid Training courses in Bristol or wherever your business is based can help to minimize the risks and protect employees as they go about their daily work and the public they serve.


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