In just a few months, hand hygiene has become something that we never thought about much to something we think about all the time. ‘Nothing will ever be the same,’ says Deléne Boshoff of PHT South Africa when she talks about the opportunity for behavioural change that the Covid-19 outbreak brought. ‘Cleaning your hands before entering a shared space, especially where food is available, such as at the grocery store, a restaurant, a canteen or the break room at work will become the norm, rather than the exception.’
Proper hand hygiene in the food industry involves a tiered approach. Food handlers have to wash and dry their hands appropriately to remove bacteria from their hands. Applying an alcohol-based sanitiser onto clean, dry hands afterwards adds another layer of safety, as it destroys bacteria that may still remain. ‘The focus is on risk reduction,’ says Deléne about the value of having hand sanitising facilities readily available. And food handlers include everyone working with food, whether it involves delivering, serving, preparing or enjoying food. Food safety is a responsibility we all share.
Choosing the right option
The basic principle of safe food handlings is that people should clean their hands when they move between different areas in a food facility.That means moving from outside into a serving area, or from a serving area into a production area, or between different preparation areas within a kitchen or production facility, and all the way back again. Installing sanitising stations at transition points between different spaces can help to make hand cleaning second nature.
It follows, though, that the easier such a station is to operate, the better hygiene measures will be adhered to. An automated, contactless hand sanitising system such as the Manotizer can be an effective option. Its slim design – extending about the depth of a big shoebox from the wall – means it can be installed unobtrusively and without constraining traffic flow.
A sensor-controlled membrane pump accurately squirts a preset amount of sanitiser onto both hands when they are placed in the sanitising area, but without any wastage. No hand contact is necessary. With a 5L sanitiser reservoir, the system can be operated for long periods without needing refilling. A further advantage is that the system can be linked to a door lock, which introduces additional assurance of hand cleaning at transition points in a workflow.
Click here for more information on the Manotizer product range.
Setting an example for hand hygiene
Hand hygiene has always been a cornerstone of food safety. ‘The food industry now has an opportunity to lead by example,’ says Deléne. ‘The principles have not changed, our awareness has.’ And that will bring change only for the better.
To find out more about the right hand sanitising option for your facility, speak to the team at PHT, your partner for hygiene and technology. They have been hard at work to ensure that they have enough stock available so that your hand hygiene practices are never left compromised.
Author: Deléne Boshoff, Managing Director of PHT South Africa