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A new survey by the UK and Ireland trade union Unite has found that over two thirds of chefs believe long working hours are negatively impacting their health.
Of the 269 London chefs surveyed, 44% said they work between 48 and 60 hours a week, with 14% working 60 hours-plus. 69% of chefs believe long hours culture is harming their health, what's more 79% said they have had had an accident or a near miss at work due to fatigue, while 51% have suffered from depression from being overworked.
To cope, 29% admitted to using alcohol to get them through a shift, while 56% said they take painkillers or other stimulants (41%).
Chef Daniel Patterson recently opened up about his battles with depression and the taboo surrounding mental health within the industry, and while Unite's survey is just a snapshot of a small population of chefs in a hyper-competitive food city, it's doubtful these kinds of figures are an anomaly.
Indeed, members of Unite recently held a candle-lit vigil to remember chefs around the world who have been injured or died at work, including Benoit Violier from the three Michelin star Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville in Lausanne, Switzerland, who commited suicide in 2016, and Nathan Laity, a senior sous chef at the Tate Modern in London who died due to blood poisoning from untreated tonsilitis after working 27, 14 hour days in a row.