LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Quietly supported by former CEOs of Arby's, Diner's Club and McDonald's, start-up company FryerGate aims to solve an issue that has plagued the fast-food industry for decades: The dangers of scalding frying oils injuring workers.
The Executive Director of The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH), Mary Vogel, stated in a press conference on Monday that over 79%, or 2.8 million fast food workers, had been burned in the past year based on a 'first-ever national survey of fast food workers about health and safety on the job'. The survey, conducted by Hart Research, states that 54% of those burn incidents take place at fryers which equates to over 1.5 million fryer related burns. 58% have been burned multiple times.
Scott Allen, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) spokesman, said on Tuesday in the Chicago Tribune the agency is investigating some McDonald's in several states in response to workers’ claims. "We do investigate all complaints and take every complaint seriously," Allen said.
The patent pending technology FryerGate developed by Canadian inventor Rory Millikin, was recently awarded the coveted 'Kitchen Innovation Award' by the National Restaurant Association and started quietly testing this week with some independent franchisees from fast food chains who are determined to improve employee safety in the work environment.
The main thing FryerGate prevents is the unintended events that cause injuries such as body parts or foreign objects from entering the boiling oil.
It also helps reduce any splash back of hot oil that often occurs when baskets of frozen food are typically thrust forward into an unprotected fryer pot of boiling oil thus reducing both hand burns and the accumulation of oil on the floor in front of the fryer which can cause 'slip & falls'.
A video on the company’s website www.fryergate.com demonstrates the device.
The company claims it does not slow down the cooking process and slips over an existing fryer without any major installation required.
“The monthly cost of a FryerGate is very affordable, less than the cost of a Happy Meal,” Millikin said.
This start up has also attracted both the Chairman and the CEO of Franchise Risk, a large insurance firm that specializes in Fast Food Restaurant Insurance, to join its Board.
"We are very proud to introduce our award winning FryerGate safety technology that can make the workplace a safer place for everyone...it sets a new safety standard in restaurant kitchens," said Millikin. “It’s a game changer. In the restaurant safety world, it’s a bit like inventing the light bulb.”