Since the arrival of the pandemic we have been working towards making the kitchens as Covid-19 safe as we can and were able to reopen on the 1st September 2020.
We ask everyone coming to Cookery School to advise us if they have had a high temperature, developed Covid-19 symptoms or have been in contact with a person with Covid-19 symptoms in the last 14 days. If this is the case we are happy to offer a new class/course at a later date.
Safety in protecting everyone against Covid-19 is of primary importance. Anyone coming into the kitchens will have to be 100% compliant with our procedures. If they are not, we will ask them to leave the premises immediately as we cannot compromise the health of others at any time.
Please see below the precautions in place at Cookery School:
• Temperatures of everyone, including Cookery School staff, are taken on arrival and carefully recorded.
• On entry to the kitchens everyone is required to use an alcohol rub on their hands.
• Contact details, previously provided, are checked for the NHS Test and Trace service.
• All possessions including outdoor clothing have to be kept in lockers. Lockers are disinfected after use each session.
• No one is able to leave outdoor clothing hanging on a peg in the kitchens.
• Before starting to cook everyone is asked to wash their hands.
• Everyone has to use a face mask unless for some reason they are unable to do so and a visor if possible too.
• Masks are provided free of charge, so that outdoor masks are not used in the kitchen environment.
• Anyone that wishes to wear a visor when visiting Cookery School can do so in additional to their mask. We are able to sell visors for anyone wishing to wear one at the same cost as we pay for them. (This does not apply in the case of Cook’s Certificate students who are with us full time for six weeks, who will be given visors). Anyone bringing in visors from outside will need to have them disinfected before bringing them into the kitchens.
• Ultraviolet units, Virotech air/surface sanitisers, have been installed in both kitchens. These destroy viruses, fungi and bacteria in the air.
• IQAir units have been installed in each kitchen too as these purify and recycle air so that viruses, fungi and bacteria are destroyed.
• Everyone is reminded to wash their hands regularly with soap and water to limit the spread of Covid-19 and any bacteria.
• Surfaces are wiped down regularly, using appropriate cleaning products, by our staff who are trained in our new cleaning regime.
• Between classes a complete cleaning procedure is followed using Delphis Eco products, mainly with an antiseptic cleaning fluid (known to kill viruses and bacteria).
• Infrared technology operates all taps so that no one needs to touch these.
• Infrared technology operates all soap dispensers and alcohol hand cleaner dispensers.
• Everyone is provided with disposable biodegradable aprons and, when necessary gloves.
• When anyone goes to the toilet, they are required to bin the biodegradable apron that they are wearing and on exiting, they are provided with a fresh one as we cannot have used aprons reused or temporarily hanging up against the walls where other aprons may be hung too as this could cause contamination.
• Everyone has to wear their masks whilst in the toilet to stop inhalation of any lurking viruses.
• Anyone using toilets is asked to flush with the seat down as that limits the spread of air borne viruses in aerosol form in the toilet.
• After using the toilet, everyone is asked to wipe down the toilet seat with toilet paper coated with sanitising fluid, that is provided in dispensers in the toilets, and to use fresh toilet paper to wipe the toilet handle separately.
• When leaving the toilet everyone has to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Paper towels are available for drying hands. Dedicated bins, that are regularly emptied, have paper towels deposited in them. Bins are all foot operated.
• Masks worn in the toilet are then to be binned in the same bin as the disposable aprons and hands washed again.
• A new mask will then be supplied along with the disposable apron.
• Screens, that separate people working at the same work station (two people maximum), have been installed. Side by side work stations are socially distanced.
• The only time that students will be close to one another is for short periods when at the hobs cooking. They will be protected as they will be using masks and possibly visors too.
• Disposable biodegradable gloves will be worn whenever food that is to eaten raw is prepared.
• Professional courses only will require a fresh change of whites daily. These are provided by students themselves. It is essential that whites are washed daily so that worn whites are not reused in the kitchen.
• We have, since our inception, had a tasting regime that others have ridiculed because we allow only one taste with one spoon and then that spoon is put into a ‘used spoon’ bowl so as not to be confused with other equipment. We have loads of spoons so never shortage of tasting spoons. These tasting spoons are regularly washed and then clean bowls of spoons put out again. This regime is more important than ever during this time of Covid-19.
• We will have a source of clean air through the kitchens, as recommended for all internal use. This is provided by running separate air conditioning units in each of the kitchens. External doors and/or window are kept open at all times to encourage continuous movement of air.
• Our staff are trained in all our safety practices and precautions and competently follow all procedures. We have a new risk assessment for Covid-19 in place.
• Our back of house staff provide students with the required ingredients, equipment, etc. in classes, to reduce contamination. No one dishes up their own food or helps themselves to equipment.
• Eating periods at the end of each class are socially distanced with all students eating individually at their own work stations seated on high chairs.
• In classes where food is taken home, we ask students to bring in their own containers and refrigeration bags with freezer blocks to transport food safely to avoid contamination. Cookery School is not responsible for what happens to food once it leaves our premises as it is in perfect condition before then. In the case of breads, cakes and pastries, we supply cake boxes in which to carry these items home.
We have been speaking to experts in the field of kitchen hygiene, air flow, the public health team at Westminster Council and others and are continually learning of new practices that we can put in place to ensure maximum safety for all.
If you have any queries or questions, please contact us before booking or joining us for a class or course.