Bartender Hygiene and Safety
A few general guidelines to remember on hygiene and safety in a bar.
- Don’t smoke or drink while working behind a bar, it is considered unsanitary and in many countries is also illegal.
- Handle a glass soda siphon by the plastic or metal part only. The heat of your hand may cause the glass to shatter.
- Always wash and dry your hands frequently, especially after contact with citrus fruit/juices. This helps prevent hand dermatitis.
- Look after your hands, especially your fingernails, as these are always in view. Keep fingernails short, and if using nail polish, use neutral colors.
- Always be clean, tidy and diplomatic.
- Always rinse/wash bar equipment like cocktail shakers and strainers after use, even between drinks.
- Don’t allow a champagne corks to ‘pop’ on removal, this is of bad taste and dangerous.
- Never fill a glass to the brim.
Spills, breakage and handling
Always pay good attention to your glasses, because like your drinks, your customers will be coming into direct contact with them constantly. Here’s some advice on handling glass and accidents with glass.
Breakage & Spills
It never hurts to be too cautious when handling glass. If you drop a glass, don’t try to catch it, let it fall. If a glass is dropped and it breaks, wear gloves, and use a broom, dust pan or damp cloth to pick up the pieces. You should have these on stand-by.
Always be ready to clean glass breakage up, it will happen. Whenever anybody breaks a glass, make it your priority to get it cleaned up.
If you break a glass near ice, the chances are there’s shattered glass in your ice. Throw away all of the ice.
If you spill or knock over a drink, try not to make a production of the situation. Your customer wants his drink, so clean the spillage up and get it to him, then forget it ever happened.
Never just push a glass to move it, always pick it up and place it where you want it. Use the stem or the base to pick glasses up, meaning you not only avoid getting fingerprints on the top of the glass, but you’re given more support to carry it.
If you clank two glasses together, one will almost always break.
Glass doesn’t agree to sudden changes in temperatures, therefore never add ice to a hot glass or hot liquid to a cold glass. The thermal shock may shatter the glass.
Never use glassware to scoop ice from a bucket or otherwise. Tiny glass slivers break off when pushed into ice, and the glass can shatter, leaving you with glass and blood in your ice. Use an ice scoop.