Comfortable Hair Nets Trap Loose Hair
Do Hair nets still have a place in today’s commercial kitchen? The FDA food code states that hair restraints need to be “effective”. While hair nets certainly fit this criterion so do baseball caps and chef hats. It also states that they must be “designed and worn to effectively keep … hair from contacting food.” Again hair nets as well as chef hats and ball caps fit the bill. In the end it becomes a matter of kitchen policy. Hair nets are used in full force in a military kitchen. Chef hats are common place in high end restaurants. The use of hair nets in other places is spotty at best. The baseball cap seems to be the headwear of choice.
This headwear, hair nets offer benefits that are lost in today’s work environment. Comfort, these products generally have elastic bands meant to fit snuggly about the head. Circulation, hair nets allow the air to circulate around the head allowing the heat to be released. Cleanliness, look at the bill of a kitchen workers hat and argue that point. Expense, hair nets are less expensive and easier to replace. Effective, the other options still leave the possibility of a wayward hair as they are removed and reapplied constantly throughout the day.
Hair nets are not widely used because of employee attitudes. The feeling that they “mess up my hair” or are not attractive is prevalent. Hair restraints of any kind are not required in areas away from food preparation. This further adds to the hair nets debate. In the end it is the kitchen policy that will have the final call.
The debate is not so heated when hats such as chef hats or baseball hats are discussed. The acceptance of the caps in society gives them acceptance in the workplace. Chef hats still have a perceived status that makes them okay. Customer satisfaction and the customer experience have to be the manager’s only concern. In a society where judgments are made quickly and one bad experience can ruin a reputation, the risk of one hair on a customer’s plate needs to be evaluated.
Beard protectors also need to be reviewed. They are made of non-woven fabric similar to hair nets. Latex-free elastic is employed to keep the protector in place. A beard protector gives complete coverage to all areas of facial hair.