Establishing a Canteen, Part 2: Accident Prevention and Hygiene

When setting up a canteen, there is a lot to consider. Once all spatial requirements have been met, there are a number of other regulations that have to be considered. Accident prevention and hygiene are especially important. All of these guidelines were recorded by the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) in the regulations "Working in kitchen utilities" (available in German only) on 120 pages. We have summarized the most important things to give you a first overview.




One of the main concerns of the DGUV regulations is the safety of large-scale kitchen staff. In order to always guarantee it, certain measures must be taken. These can be constructional in nature, but also affect the equipment and operation. This article is dedicated to the structural requirements.

As a rule, the risk of accidents of the staff must be reduced as much as possible. The first step is to give each employee sufficient movement area (at least 1.5 m² with a width of at least 1 m). In addition, you need to plan for 15 m³ of airspace per person, which must not be reduced by kitchen appliances.

The floors must not be a safety hazard. Therefore, they must be non-slip (even when wet) and have a slight slope to the drain, so that no liquids accumulate. To eliminate tripping hazards, the ground must be completely level.



Avoiding tripping hazards is also the reason why steps and stairs should be avoided in a canteen whenever possible. Instead, replace them with ramps. Where there is no alternative to stairs, the steps must be non-slip and strong. All stairs must be secured with railings.

The environment and furniture must not be dangerous. Hence, sliding doors have to be secured against falling out, while swing doors must be either transparent or fitted with windows. Additionally, drawers must be prevented from falling out. Sharp edges on tables and cabinets should be avoided.

To create a comfortable working environment, the noise must not exceed 85 dB (A). If this is not the case, a noise reduction program must be implemented to counteract. The staff is then also entitled to ear protection. The indoor climate is ideally between 17° and 24° Celsius. This prevents cold, stiff fingers from causing injuries or heat from causing circulatory problems.




Ideally, no germs should gather at any location of the canteen. In addition to the usual hygiene measures in the context of the HACCP regulations, it is therefore necessary to take appropriate precautions already when designing the premises.

It's not just floors and work surfaces that need to be easy to clean - walls should be completely smooth and washable as well to prevent bacteria from gathering. This makes it easy to remove contaminants at any time. Even windows, doors and all handles must be easy to disinfect.

Storage rooms need to be protected against pests. Especially fruit and vegetable storage are prone to vermin infestation. Insect screens can help. All such precautions must be easy to remove and clean.


Here at Smunch we know how complicated all this is. Therefore, with the first virtual canteen in Germany we offer an alternative that saves you all this work and yet offers a great variety and excellent quality. Take a look at our website and find out more about our version of the modern cafeteria.

Bon appétit,

The Smunch Team


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