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Restaurant Law

Essay by 24  •  August 31, 2010  •  2,934 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,066 Views

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In the business world every business has its own set of laws and regulations to follow and adhere too. Some have very few laws and others have so many it is mind numbing but, each law is set up to protect every worker, customer or person associated with that business's location. However, some of these laws are outdated or just plain unnecessary in today's 21st century business environment.

The business that I chose to examine is the restaurant industry. I chose it because I have a great love for cooking and I hope to someday open my own restaurant. It made great sense to learn some of the laws now while still in school that could impact my future business endeavors. First I will review the laws and regulations pertinent to the restaurant business and then I will explain the impact of those laws on the restaurant business.

The first laws that I found were the laws from OSHA. OSHA contains many laws that are designed to create a safe workplace and keep workers out of situations that can be potentially harmful. Without OSHA many workplaces would be a lot more unsafe than they are now. OSHA reduced the number of work place injuries and deaths, making it one of the most important sets of laws to govern all business and especially the restaurant business.

OSHA calls for two different types of fire prevention equipment to be placed in all restaurants. First it calls for automatic sprinklers to be installed per OSHA standards. These standards are that they have a certain spraying pattern, densities, water flow that can cover the whole area that it is above. After meeting those specs the business then has to get the system to meet water supply standards. Basically the standard is that the system has a water supply that can flow for thirty minutes.

The next statute that must be met is the piping needs to be protected from freezing and corrosion from the surrounding environment. This assures that if a fire occurs the piping will be able to take the water pressure that is flowing through to the sprinkler system. Also it calls for the system to have a proper drainage system that allows the system to drop the water from the sprinkler system and then have it drain back into a reservoir. The final statute from OSHA 1910.159 is that the sprinklers be spaced so that they can cover a maximum area while only hanging no less than 18 inches above the ceiling.

OSHA regulation 1910.157 calls for the placement of portable fire extinguishers, maintenance and testing of portable fire extinguishers in all businesses. This regulation also states that the extinguishers should be marked clearly and placed in an area that is easily accessible at all times. The exemption to this regulation is when a business has a written fire code that calls for total evacuation in case of a fire. If this type of plan exists a business can get away with not having fire extinguishers all around.

These regulations are good for the restaurant business because it lets both the employee's and the customers know that they have a good safety system installed if a fire arises. As well it keeps the kitchen area safe from small grease fires and other things that can happen in a kitchen area suddenly and unexpectedly. Although old these two regulations are still very necessary and very relevant to today's restaurant owner.

OSHA regulation 1910.22 explains the general safety requirements and markings associated for them. It states that all passageways, storerooms and service rooms should be keep sanitary at all times. Also it states that the floors of all workrooms need to be clean and kept relatively dry and if water can be left standing in an area drainage holes should be present to drain the water and keep the floor as dry as possible. Most importantly it states that aisles need to be wide enough for two-way traffic and also be kept in good shape with no obstructions that can cause a hazardous situation.

The next regulation (OSHA 1910.141) deals with sanitation in places of permanent employment. It deals with the issues of having a toilet (for both excretory functions), the maintaining of a clean and sanitary work area, and for restaurants, the issue of food handling. These are the detailed explanations of each of these statutes.

Statute 1910.141.iii.c explains the regulations on toilet areas and such. It states that toilets for both sexes must be provided in accordance to the total capacity of the restaurant with relation to separate employee and customer areas. Generally a restaurant will have separate male and female bathrooms in the customer area with the number of toilets determined by the size of the restaurant and a single unisex bathroom in the kitchen area. It then states that all bathrooms shall be provided with both hot and cold running water, hand soap and some type of hand towel (cloth, paper, etc.).

The next statute deals with the sanitation of the work area. It says that floors should be kept in a clean and dry manner and if any spills occur they should be cleaned using proper cleaning methods. In case of a more toxic spill proper precautions need to be taken and spill should be cleaned in a timely and proper fashion. Also it states that all sweepings, solid and liquid waste must be removed in a manner that avoids the creation of a health problem. Trash receptacles must be constructed in a manner that does not allow leakage or anything else that can cause unsanitary conditions and they must have a tight fitting lid unless it can be maintained in a sanitary condition without a cover.

Finally it says that measures must be taken to keep the restaurant free from infestations from vermin, insects and rodents. An ongoing plan to keep vermin out must be in place and an effective plan must be enacted if a vermin presence is found.

Each of the regulations that keep the kitchen clean and sanitary also applies to the dining area. Tables must be cleaned with a suitable cleaning solution, floors must be swept and moped and kept dry and safe. Finally the whole restaurant must be kept in clean, sanitary shape to ensure that the customers have a good and safe meal.

The final part of this statute deals with food handling by employees. It says that all food must be kept in proper storage based upon its type (all meats, fruits, vegetables and dairy products must be placed in cold storage as per health department regulations. Generally cold storage is kept at about 40 degrees with all meats placed in ice baths to ensure sanitation. Also all food preparation must be carried out with gloved hands to ensure that nothing is transmitted from the material to the person or vice versa.

All of these statutes are designed to keep the restaurant clean and sanitary for both workers and customers. If these laws weren't in place going to a restaurant would be very dangerous because you would

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