Pizza chef

Risk level

Hands-on work

Ready in ten! Time to get a move on if the pizza's going to be ready. There are many good toppings to choose from, but flour dust can cause and exacerbate asthma for pizza chefs. What's more, wet raw materials, washing up and handwashing can irritate the skin and cause hand eczema.

What are the risks?

Dust from the dough can cause allergies. A runny nose, irritated eyes, coughing and breathing difficulties are commonly associated with flour dust, and can also start after you've got home from work. An allergy can develop into asthma.

Many restaurants and pizzerias allow diners to smoke, which can be a problem if you have asthma.

Preparing ingredients is part of the job, and washing up and cleaning may also be involved. These duties entail lots of contact with water, which can leave the skin fragile. If you're unlucky, you might end up with hand eczema. The eczema often gets infected, which means that you will not be allowed to work, as there is a risk that the bacteria from the infection will spread.

Prevention and avoidance

Protect your hands by rubbing in an unperfumed moisturising cream after work and during breaks. Use gloves whenever possible, for example when washing up.

It's worth knowing that it will be hard to carry on working as a pizza chef if you already have, or if you develop, an allergy to flour dust and/or hand eczema. You may be forced to choose a completely different career.

If you already have asthma or hand eczema, or have previously had hand eczema, this kind of work could easily cause it to come back or get worse. This is also the case if you had atopic eczema when you were little.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions or want to know more about asthma and eczema when working as a pizza chef, get in touch with your school nurse or careers adviser.