The Camp Kitchen

The best method in negligence prevention is a sound education. In the camp kitchen, this means good organizational skills and diligent management. Meeting and/or exceeding standards set by associations, health departments, and state and national restaurant associations is certainly a start towards prevention of injuries and accidents. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a reliable source for standards awareness as well.

George Hughes, M.BA., J.D., is an Independent Management Consultant for the Hospitality Industry; he is not practicing law. He may be reached at 214-385-0583and


The Basics:

The Food Service Director should hold a current management certificate in food service.

Kitchen Staff should know local health and safety regulations. Individual food-handler cards proving completion of a certified course are preferred.

Prevent Food Contamination by serving hot foods hot and cold foods cold; maintaining personal and environmental sanitation procedures; adhering to proper food-storage procedures and product-rotation practices.

These practices also mean taking routine and accurate temperatures of uncooked and cooked food, and keeping daily records.

Make sure that kitchen equipment is in Proper Working Order and that Every Staff Member is well instructed in his or her duties.


Third-Party Food Service

In order to maximize facility use, many camps will permit guests or organizations to provide their own food service. Camps often lease their facilities for special events like weddings, family reunions, or private parties where the food is prepared in the camp kitchen by sources other than the site’s staff. In these cases, the camp should invoke a food-service liability-release agreement.

It is very tempting for camps to cultivate gardens or use local farmers’ market vendors. It is best practice to call on dependable food purveyors who carry sufficient liability insurance, follow food safety standards, and are approved by the USDA. Many food-service contract companies require suppliers to provide proof of a food-safety program; as a result, they carry large-product liability insurance.

When serving food to children, safety is not only critical, it’s amplified. Contamination is extremely serious and can only be mitigated by proper food-processing, handling, and meeting or exceeding the standard of care.

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  1. Is A Dining Service Right For Your Camp?
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  3. Food Allergies And Food Intolerances
  4. Kids In The Kitchen
  5. Podcast: Happy Kitchen, Happy Camp

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