catering skin protection

Health and safety in catering is important for every single person working in the industry.

Of all the health and safety issues facing catering staff, contact dermatitis and dry skin are perhaps two of the most prevalent health problems.

The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive state that the number of new cases of work-related contact dermatitis for those working in the catering industry is twice that of the average level found in all industries.  It is also noted that the cost to the employer of resolving incidences of employee contact dermatitis can end up being twice as much as the cost of an accident resulting in physical injury *.

Those most at risk from developing dermatitis, or eczema, are catering employees who:

  • Constantly handle food and may suffer from allergic dermatitis
  • For hygiene reasons are required to wash their hands more than 20 times a day
  • Have their hands immersed in water for more than 2 hours a day
  • Are involved in cleaning kitchen surfaces, dishes, cutlery or kitchen utensils

Healthy skin is supple and soft and provides a protective layer guarding against infection.  Chefs, cooks and catering assistants can all be exposed to substances that attack the skin and this may result in work-related contact dermatitis.  The main substances that give rise to concerns for health and safety in catering are soaps, disinfectants and cleansing products.

Usually, the initial symptoms of work-related contact dermatitis is skin that feels dry and sore.  If left untreated, dermatitis may lead to split, cracked, painful skin that can result in employee absenteeism or even be career threatening.

Work-related dermatitis in the catering industry is most common on the hands and forearms.

Don’t take our word for it. Read for yourself what one fellow professional said:


“My son, Bradley, who works in a restaurant suddenly developed dermatitis.After visiting our doctor on maybe 5 occasions, nothing was suitable for his worsening condition of dermatitis.  Needless to say, he had to be off sick for 2 weeks.Then hey presto, he started using Derma Guard.  After only a short time, 10 days, he cannot believe the difference.  He finds it very soothing, relieves the itchiness and totally moisturises his hands preventing them from cracking.  Last, but not least, it has reduced the pain that he had been experiencing.  Thank you.”DH Sheffield

How can Derma Guard help those concerned with health and safety in the catering industry?

Derma Guard is cleared for use in the food processing industry. It can be used in food preparation areas.  Derma Guard’s food safety certificate.

It forms a microscopic mesh over the skin which protects whilst allowing the skin to breath and perspire normally. Tender or abused skin that can be irritated in the food preparation process is given a chance to heal and is protected from further abuse.

Because Derma Guard is designed only to come off the skin as it sheds naturally, one application will last for four to five hours despite repeated washing. No sense of touch is lost and there is no need to re-apply every time you touch something or get the skin wet.

Derma Guard locks pharmaceutical grade moisturisers, such as Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, into the skin. The skin doesn’t dry out, even under the driest conditions. It also helps to clear up any other pre-existing skin problems. Recent trials have shown clear up rates for contact dermatitis as high as 85%.

Strong odours of foods such as onions, garlic and fish wash right off with soap and water instead of penetrating the skin and lingering for hours. Leave strong food odours where they belong – in the kitchen.

Derma Guard also helps protect against commercial cleaning compounds, industrial oven cleaners and drain cleaners. It will also protect maintenance personnel against oils, greases and most solvents.

Users often report how Derma Guard makes gloves more comfortable to wear by reducing excess sweating. It also protects the skin from any irritations that can sometimes occur after prolonged glove usage. This all ensures that users only wear gloves when needed and that the gloves are replaced far less frequently.