The Caterer

Coffee Council warns over scalding injuries

12 November 2010
Coffee Council warns over scalding injuries

About once every eight weeks, a local paper somewhere carries a story about a consumer suffering scalding injuries from a hot beverage served by our trade.

Horrifyingly, it is often a small child who suffers. Each accident is a personal tragedy, and each damages the reputation of our trade. Twice, recently, the trade ahas been accused in the press of an "amateurish" reaction to accidents, and the mother of a toddler who will need skin grafts into adulthood says she now recognises how all adults are "too casual" with hot drinks.

Luckily, damages here are not yet like the USA, where 700 scald cases have been raised and awards up to $668,000 have been made. But already, a British airline has paid £25,000 to a scalded passenger, and a leisure company has paid £1,400 to a scalded 12-year-old.

And so, the Coffee Council now warns that all beverage operators must review their procedures and precautions, for their own protection as well as for their customers.

On the day we published our new report, One more scalded customer is too many, a three-year-old suffered scalds to his face in a café because - the local paper reported - catering staff allowed a customer to leave a counter, backwards, carrying a cup and saucer in one hand, and a teapot balanced on a saucer in the other.

If this is true, it is unforgivable practice. And as the Child Accident Prevention Trust has now invited the public to report such cases of bad catering practice, this must sound alarm bells to all of us.

This is serious. And so we ask everyone in the hospitality and catering trades to look at your working procedures, and join us in our determination that One more scalded customer is too many.

Louie Salvoni, managing director, Espresso Service, and founder of the" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Coffee Council]([One more scalded customer is too many ]( available as a PDF file

â- [See our feature on equipment safety

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