Cold buffet manager

Risk level

Too much food isn't good for you

As a cold buffet manager, you will prepare cold dishes and desserts - a varied and stressful job. Frequent handwashing and contact with strong substances in foods mean that some cold buffet managers suffer from eczema and allergies. If you have previously had problems with atopic eczema, it's a good idea to find out what the job involves before going down this particular route.

What are the risks?

Cold buffet managers switch from one job to another and handle lots of different foods during their working day. As such, they need to wash their hands frequently, which can dry out the skin and make it sensitive to irritants. Meat, fish and other foods also contain substances that you can develop allergies to, and if you're unlucky you might end up with itchy hand eczema. Eczema can easily become infected and, if this happens, you will not be allowed to work, as you could infect diners with bacteria from your infection.

Prevention and avoidance

It's hard to avoid wet hands and strong substances in foods if you work as a cold buffet manager - they're part of the job. Gloves can help, but sometimes they get in the way. Protect your skin by rubbing in unperfumed hand cream at the beginning and end of the working day and during breaks.

If you suffer from eczema or did so when you were little (atopic eczema), think twice before going into cold buffet management, as the work can easily cause hand eczema. It's not that unusual for cold buffet managers to be forced to change job if they have problems with eczema.

Want to know more?

If you are thinking about becoming a cold buffet manager but are wondering about the risk of allergy and eczema, get in touch with your school healthcare service or careers advisor.