Safety Matters

Tim Hughes
Brand Ambassador

Safety is always a top priority for our front-line associates. This month, Brand Ambassador Tim Hughes shares his top tips for staying safe on the job and keeping shoppers happy, healthy and engaged.

Ensuring safety starts well before an event begins. “I try to set up in location where I can control the flow around demo area. I always have cords tucked away so they cannot be trip hazards. If room allows, I post at least two visible signs warning of hot items and allergies. And I always check the expiration dates on foods before preparing them,” says Hughes.

During events, Hughes highlights the importance attending to food safety standards. “When possible, I try to set up next to a freezer and put my refrigerated items in it. If not, I keep them in a cooler so they’re chilled to at least 40 degrees. Once hot foods are cooked, I keep them at 140 degrees. When putting out cooked food, most items should be discarded after 15 to 30 minutes and replaced with fresh items.”

When it comes to guarding personal safety, Hughes points to two common sources of injury: sharp objects and hot items. “When using sharp utensils, I always hold them by the handle and cut away from myself. When my knife isn’t in use, I keep it in a sheath on the table or under the cart. For hot surfaces, I always have a pot holder or towel to handle lids, and I put hot appliances on my dominant side.”

Hughes also points out that associates shouldn’t be afraid to make the importance of safety known to shoppers. “I try to keep hot or other dangerous items well out of customer’s reach. And if a customer asks why, I let them know safety comes first,” he explains. “I might say something like ‘this is a great tasting tea, but I just poured it so it may be hot. Please be careful.’”