Update on our Covid-secure measures

VENTILATION, VENTILATION AND VENTILATION IS OUR MANTRA AS WELL AS MASK WEARING

We believe that to keep everyone safe, we have to keep all our covid-secure measures in place for the foreseeable future as we learn to live with covid.

We are very aware that whilst hospital admissions are not rising, we are in the middle of a serious fourth wave as can be seen by the huge rise in covid cases caused by the new Omicron variant.  We want to minimise risk to everyone visiting our kitchens so are taking responsibility for keeping us all as safe as possible.

Everyone attending a class is required to do a rapid lateral flow test before visiting Cookery School.  This needs to be done as close as possible to your visit. We suggest this is done on the morning of your class. This testing has proved to work very well and we are so grateful to everyone for their compliance.

Test kits can be ordered here https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or picked up at local specified chemist shops.

We will rebook classes free of charge if you find that you test positive for covid when doing your free flow test. You are required to register your positive test result on the NHS site and forward this to us. We will then process your new booking.

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.

Please see below the precautions in place at Cookery School:

On Arrival

• Temperatures of everyone, including Cookery School staff, are taken on arrival and carefully recorded. This is so it is quick and easy and effortless for us.
• 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 have to be kept in lockers. Lockers are regularly cleaned.
• Before starting to cook everyone is asked to wash their hands.

During Class

• Everyone has to use a face mask unless for some reason they are unable to do so, we will provide a visor.
• Masks are provided free of charge, so that outdoor masks are not used in the kitchen environment.
• Cookery School has a ‘ventilation, ventilation, ventilation’ mantra and keeps air in the kitchens moving. We have specialised units to purify air and destroy viruses, fungi and bacteria that may be lurking.
• Virotech air/surface sanitiser units based on ultraviolet light technology, have been installed in both kitchens and run all the time.
• IQAir units (used in hospitals) to purify and recycle air so that viruses, fungi and bacteria are destroyed run in both kitchens all the time.
• We have separate air conditioning units running in each of the kitchens and these provide a source of clean air.
• Our cooking extractor fans are also turned on at all times. External doors and/or window are kept open at all times to encourage continuous movement of air.
• We now have a device to monitor CO2 levels in our kitchens. Whilst we know that there is lots of air in both kitchens, we are making doubly sure that the carbon dioxide levels do not rise to any unacceptable level.
• 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, soap dispensers and alcohol hand sanitisers so that no one needs to touch these.
• Everyone is provided with disposable biodegradable aprons and, when necessary biodegradable gloves.
• With aerosols from flushing circulating in toilets we recommend the following regime:

• 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.
• 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
• 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, will additionally, 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 plaguing our lives.
• 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.
• Anyone wanting second helpings of the delicious food they have prepared in the class will be given a fresh plate to avoid cross contamination.
• 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.

The above protocols will be reviewed frequently and as the level of infection in the country reduces, or increases, and more information is available on the spread of covid, we will alter these protocols accordingly. This latest advice above has been updated on Wednesday 5 January 2022.

If you have any queries or questions, please contact us before booking or joining us for a class or course.

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