Without a safe and effective food supply chain, a society cannot function. The production, processing, distribution, and sale of food products is an essential function of any large scale economy.  At the end of that supply chain includes the food service industry. These businesses include everything from award-winning fine dining restaurants, 24-hour late-night takeout spots, food trucks,  and other locations or services that provide food and meals to the consumer masses.  

The food service industry like most industries has rules and regulations to help keep both workers and customers safe. For the most part, the industry as a whole makes a conscious and willing effort  to comply with any requirements set forth by regulating bodies. However, health and safety issues can never be eliminated completely, regardless of the number of regulations in place.  In 2020, COVID-19,  provides a prime example of how the industry is both a success and a failure at protecting employees and the public regardless of the efforts made. As a food service business owner, the best one can do is to have a plan in place and adapt as situations change.

Food Service Industry Risks 

Risks associated with food service come in various forms. The main safety-related risks affecting employees and employers alike include trips, falls, trauma, accidents, illness, damage to equipment, damage to surroundings, damage to the equipment, and theft. 

To avoid safety-related risks, the foodservice industry strives to take any and all possible precautions.  Such policies include strict procedures for cleanliness, classes for employees, along with purchasing and using safety equipment, like personal protective equipment (gloves and masks for eyes, face and head). 

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Preventing Outbreaks and the Spread of Viruses

Viruses like COVID-19, which comes with great cost to companies, can potentially pose threats to the general public if people refuse to wear face masks while out or ignore rules against congregating in groups.

The food service industry was particularly hard hit with COVID-19 and had to spend months essentially shut down before reopening in most states in a limited fashion.

One of the most advantageous ways we as a society have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the United States is to adhere to what health experts and politicians, particularly governors, laid down guidelines on social distancing, group convening, face mask usage when outside, and other factors that affect whether individuals in the United States catch the virus. 

If most Americans heed the directive, as many as 45,000 fewer Americans would die of coronavirus in the fall of 2020, according to Dr. Chris Murray, the director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Even with safety regulations in place, problems are bound to happen.  When they do, the foodservice industry has procedures in place to handle issues.  Such policies include special training for employees regarding COVID-19 and other threats.  Other standard practices involve sanitation of all surfaces, particularly. Still, levels of influenza-like illness (ILI) and COVID-19-like illness (CLI) activity remain lower than peaks seen in March and April but are increasing in most regions.

The food service industry employs thousands of people while providing confidence in wellbeing for all of America (getting fed).  Those benefits come with many risks (such as falls, illness, trauma, etc), many of which are actually preventable with different products like face masks, outdoor tents, and patios for dining outside to reduce the risk of COVID-19, gloves for cashiers and better protective equipment.  When risks are realized, though, procedures and products (like employee training) help alleviate the deaths.

Together with the help of the CDC and those who are in the know, we will prevail as a society.

More Industry Safety Solutions

Top Products For The Food Service Industry


Oily Waste Can

Food service safety involves more than food preparation and handling. Some commercial kitchen equipment like restaurant griddles may require additional safety precautions. Vegetable and other food grade oil is very susceptible to spontaneous combustion. This risk of increases because of common heat sources in kitchens, such as ovens, fryers and heat lamps. Oily waste cans should be kept near for disposal of oil-soaked rags. Their airtight seals cut off the oxygen supply, eliminating the risk of spontaneous combustion.

Absorbent Spill Kit

The FDA has food service regulations that requiring a fluid spill kit to be readily available in public settings. There are certain procedures employees need to follow when cleaning spills of liquids, chemicals, grease or even bodily fluids. For biohazardous spills, a mop and bleach simply aren’t enough. Anything that touches the spill needs to be disposed. Spill kits are convenient kitchen safety products intended for single use. Throw away after use to eliminate the risk of cross contamination.

Emergency Eyewash Station

Sanitizing, disinfecting and cleaning is a major part of food service compliance. Common cleaning agents used in commercial kitchens include oven cleaners and degreasers, bleach, and commercial dish detergents, among others. These corrosive chemicals can cause serious damage if splashed into one’s eyes. Dedicated eyewash stations are vital kitchen safety products for eye injury emergencies.

Outdoor Ashtray

Outdoor ashtrays are important commercial kitchen equipment for most restaurants. These allow safe disposal of cigarette butts while enhancing your business image. An outdoor ashtray not only collects unsightly cigarette butts, but also self-extinguishes and reduces the risk of fire.

Structured Spill Containment

Good food service safety starts with understanding your current processes. Restaurants have an abundance of used cooking oil that needs to be properly disposed. Used oil is typically stored in a 55-gallon drum until it is picked up and collected. Spill containment measures should be part of this organized process to prevent the drum from leaking oil on the floor and creating a slip hazard for employees.

Foodservice Industry Statistics

There are 770,329 competitors in the food service industry (not including the accommodation sector). Outperform the market. The food service safety supplies offered by Justrite can help make you a leader in compliance, workplace protections, and environmental care.[1]

Prevent Injuries and Lost Time

The food service industry sees 2.9 injuries per 100 employees each year. .8 percent of your employees will take time off work as a result, and .3 percent will need to transfer to a new job or restrict their tasks. Cut down on workplace injury with Justrite.[2]

Stay Industry Compliant

In the food service industry, there are roughly 157 inspections each year. The industry spends $1,049,010 in penalties, amounting to $6,682 in penalties for each inspection. Keep your commercial kitchen, catering company, food truck, or other eateries compliant (OSHA, USDA, FDA, etc.) to keep penalties low and your reputation intact.[1]

Contain and Manage Your Environmental Waste

The food service industry generates an estimated 30.2 tons of waste each year. Keep your waste safely, ethically, and compliantly contained and managed with Justrite equipment.[3]


  1. https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/industryprofile.html
  2. https://www.bls.gov/web/osh/summ1_00.htm
  3. https://rcrapublic.epa.gov/rcrainfoweb/action/modules/br/naics/view