a sampling of Project Angel Heart meals

COVID-19 Kitchen & Safety Protocols

In an effort to educate all new and existing volunteers on proper safety protocols and food handling procedures while working in the Project Angel Heart kitchen, this should be read in its entirety. Volunteers should bring any necessary questions and/or concerns to kitchen staff or the Volunteer Resources department. All volunteers must review and acknowledge the following procedures before volunteering in the kitchen, and adhere to any new rules/regulations.

Work Environment/Physical Activities: The work environment is a kitchen setting. Physical activities include standing; moving kitchen equipment, boxes, carts, ice, and trays of up to 45 pounds; and using a stove, oven, food warmer, walk-in refrigerator and freezer, sinks, knives, and electrical and mechanical kitchen equipment.

Volunteer Check-In Stations & Safety Protocols for COVID: All volunteers are required to stop at the check-in station, no more than 15 minutes before their assigned shift. Volunteers will have their temperature checked by a staff member and screened for symptoms prior to entering our facility (note individuals with a temperature > 100.4 will not be permitted to volunteer). Masks are required while on-premises, and we ask that if you feel ill or not 100% for any reason, you refrain from volunteering that day.

Building Information

Exits

  • Project Room Exit
  • West Entrance
  • North Volunteer Entrance
  • North Loading Dock Door
  • North Trash/Recycling Door
  • East Loading Dock

Security

The West, North, and East entrances are locked, and only accessible by using the intercom to contact the front desk. All visitors, volunteers, and guests are required to be screened upon entering the building.

When volunteering, please adhere to the following safety protocols

Wash hands often, and especially as needed

Hand washing should be the first thing you do when entering the kitchen and should be done after using the restroom, after touching your nose, hair, or face, after touching walk-in doors, after eating, after taking out the trash, or after any other activity that might contaminate your hands. Washing your hands is the #1 thing you can do to prevent the spread of coronavirus, food-borne illnesses, and bacteria. Here is how to wash your hands properly:

  • Dispense a length of paper towel prior to hand washing to use when ready to dry your hands (this prevents touching the handle of the paper towel dispenser with clean hands).
  • Wet hands and arms under water that’s as hot as you can comfortably stand.
  • Apply enough soap to build up a good lather.
  • Scrub hands and arms vigorously for 20 seconds.
  • Use your fingers and palms to clean under your nails and between your fingers.
  • Rinse hands thoroughly.
  • Dry hands and arms using your already-dispensed paper towel.
  • Turn off water with the paper towel. If washing hands in the restroom, use your same paper towel to open the door to prevent touching the doorknob with your clean hands.
  • Hand sanitizers are not a substitute for handwashing but may be used in addition to hand washing if desired.

When to Wash Your Hands

  • After using the restroom
  • Before and after handling eggs (even in the shell), raw meat, poultry, and seafood
  • After touching your hair, face or body, or phone
  • After sneezing, coughing, or using a tissue
  • After eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum or tobacco
  • After handling chemicals that might affect food safety (sanitizer not included in this category)

Gloves are not a substitute for handwashing

  • Gloves are required at all times
  • Gloves are NOT a replacement for hand washing or for Band-Aids
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before putting on gloves or after removing a pair of gloves
  • Gloves should be changed when:
    • Beginning a new task or changing tasks
    • They get dirty
    • They touch things that might cause cross-contamination (such walk-in cooler or freezer handles, cardboard boxes, raw meat, your face/hair, chemicals, etc.)
  • Project Angel Hearts recycles its gloves. Please put all gloves in the marked box outside of the laundry/chemical area
  • If you have handed uncooked meat, please put gloves in the trash

Prevent cross-contamination

If you (or your knife, cutting board, spoon, etc.) touch raw food (especially meat) or other potential contaminants, hands and equipment must be washed and sanitized before touching cooked food. Raw foods should be stored below cooked foods. Scoop ice from the ice machine with the scoops in the bin on top of it. Please scoop ice out of the well with plastic scoops from the equipment shelf at the end of the production line.

Keep it cool

Cold food should never be left out at room temperature for longer than needed. Fill the ice well on the scoop line so that ice is all the way up the sides of the food containers.

Keep it sanitized

Dirty areas must be washed first with soapy water (green bucket) and then sanitized with sanitizer solution (red bucket), and followed by a wipe down with bleach water. Allow these areas to air dry.

Drink responsibly

All beverages must be in cups with lids and straws and kept in the marked beverage bins on shelving under work areas.

Encourage good behavior

Please gently let other volunteers know when they are breaking a rule (including wearing of masks over the bridge of their nose & social distancing when possible!) This will help us all remain healthy, practice public health protocols, be more aware of food safety, prevent health department violations, and better serve our clients! Thank you!

Lift properly

  • Before lifting, be sure your footing is firm and you are wearing non-slip shoes. Your feet should be placed close to the load and shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend with your knees and not with your back. Your leg muscles should do all of the lifting. Grip the load at opposite corners
  • Keeping the load close to your body and stable, lift with your legs using a smooth upward motion. Know your limits and do not lift the load if it is too heavy. Get some help!
  • Don’t twist or bend your back while carrying the load. When lowering the load, bend at the knees again keeping your back straight.

Food handling

Preparing and/or Dishing Up Food

Many of the foods we work with are sensitive to time and temperature. When food is out of the refrigerator and left at room temperature, the conditions increase for greater bacterial growth. Food should stay out of the “Temperature Danger Zone” as much as possible, which is between 40 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

When prepping, chopping, cooking, or otherwise working with food, please only take as much out of the refrigerator (in batches) as you can prepare or use within a reasonable amount of time (no more than 30 minutes).

Staff will supervise you when you are working in the kitchen. They are familiar with the proper internal temperatures of specific foods, proper cooling and reheating times/temps, and proper holding times/temps. They will be happy to let you know these procedures and guidelines if needed (or even if you’re just curious).

Cutting Boards

Use cutting boards according to their color code to prevent cross-contamination:

  • Green: raw produce
  • Red: raw beef or raw pork
  • White: cooked produce, dairy, and bread

Place a towel damp with sanitizer (from the red bucket at your workstation) under your board to prevent slipping.

Meal Tray Sealing Machine

Volunteers must receive training from staff prior to operating the sealing machine. If you are not comfortable using this machine, please notify a staff member.

Knives

Knives should be used only by people who are comfortable using them.

Cleaning

All kitchen volunteers are expected to participate in cleaning up the kitchen before the conclusion of each shift. Please follow all guidelines during clean-up.

Trash

To avoid possible stormwater contamination, please make sure to close the lids on all outdoor recycling, landfill waste, and compost containers after disposing of materials.

Soap, Sanitizer Buckets, and Bleach Water

There are two types of buckets and a spray bottle of bleach water to be used in the kitchen and placed at work stations (at least one each per table) along with stacks of clean, dry towels. They should be placed and used in the following order:

  • Green buckets for soapy water dispensed from the hose at the first sink in the dish pit. Soapy water should be used with towels to clean workstations of visible dirt and debris at the start of, end of, or between tasks.
  • Red buckets for sanitizer dispensed from the hose at the third sink in the dish pit. Sanitizer should be used with towels to sanitize workstations at the start of, end of, and between tasks. Sanitizer should air dry.
  • Bleach water for a final wipe down.

Buckets and towels should be changed after each cleaning task or every two hours, whichever comes first.

Chemicals and the chemical shelf

Please follow these guidelines when using chemicals:

  • Please, never mix chemicals, and always store chemicals only on the chemical storage shelving.
  • Each chemical on the shelf and by the sink serves a specific purpose. Only use a chemical for its intended purpose. 
  • When re-filling the bleach water spray bottles, please label the bottle with a piece of masking tape marked “Bleach Water” with the date it was changed.
  • Let chefs know immediately if you find leaking or spilled chemicals on the shelf.
  • In case of a chemical emergency, refer to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) binder and look up the chemical’s sheet for instructions. The MSDS binder is on the left side of the top shelf of the chemical rack.
  • Mop bucket contents MUST be emptied to the floor drains, NEVER in the alley.
  • Know locations of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
  • Reprimand for not following guidelines include one warning and then termination.

Dress code

Everyone working in the kitchen, from chefs to volunteers to dishwashers, needs to be properly dressed and cover their head and/or hair. Good hygiene and attire are matters of health and safety, and volunteers in the Bread & Butter Club Kitchen are required to adhere to public health department regulations. 

  • All shirts must have sleeves (no tank tops).
  • All shoes must be closed-toe (no sandals, etc.).
  • A cap or other hair covering must be worn and long hair must be pulled back. Acceptable restraints that cover the hair completely include baseball caps, chef hats, hairnets, or bandanas.
  • No rubber bands, hair clips, or scrunchies without additional covering.
  • Beards over one inch in length need a beard restraint.
  • If you are bald or shave your head, you do not need to have a head covering.
  • Masks covering your mouth & the bridge of your nose

We encourage you to bring in and wear your own baseball or other cap, bandana, hair elastic, etc. If you forget your own, we will provide a baseball cap or hair net for your use.

Snacks and beverages

  • There is no eating in the kitchen or breakroom. If you bring your lunch or food is available, please take it outside and provide a 6-foot buffer between you and others.
  • There is absolutely no eating or tasting on the dish-up line. If you wish to try a sample of something, please ask the staff.
  • Beverages may be kept in the kitchen on the shelves under the prep tables. Beverages must be in a covered container with a straw, and water bottles with sip straws are fine as long as they are kept open. Cups with a lid and straw are available in the walk-in cooler. This is a health department requirement. No exceptions.