A Pilot Observational Study Comparing Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) Parameter Measurements Between Three Commercial Kitchen Configurations
Keywords:heat stress, line cooks, restaurant, food service
Line cooks in commercial restaurants work intense, high-stress shifts during near sources of heat, rendering them vulnerable to heat stress and occupational injury. However, there is a dearth of literature on heat stress among this population. This study investigated three common commercial kitchen configurations—zone, island, and assembly—to determine which design experiences the highest temperatures and if temperatures were in excess of recommended levels. A total of 11 restaurants were sampled for temperature using a Wet Bulb Globe Thermometer (WBGT). Descriptive statistics indicated that, on average, zone configurations are hotter than other kitchens and could pose a risk of heat stress; however, a Kruskal-Wallis test of significance revealed that this distinction was not statistically significant. Two measurements for zone kitchens were borderline significant, suggesting that future studies with greater statistical power would find significant differences between the kitchen types and further illuminate the risk of heat stress.
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