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Ever since Semmelweis observations on the effect of hand washing on the incidence of Puerperal Fever in a maternity ward in the 19th Century good hand hygiene has been recognised as an important factor in controlling the spread of infectious disease (Gregg et. al 2007).
For food manufacturers and retailers, the consequences of supplying contaminated product due to poor hand hygiene can be disastrous with penalties varying from small fines to site closure. Hands are one of the most common vehicles for the transfer of microorganisms to high risk products and can become contaminated in a number of ways. As such there are various pieces of EU legislation and requirements published by British Retail Consortium on hand washing to control human infections. The Food Standards Agency has also published guidance in its guidance document ‘Food Handlers Fitness To Work.’
The primary reason for washing hands is to prevent cross contamination of pathogens to food products and food contact equipment, which in the food industry could lead to food poisoning incidents. Hand washing is also a prerequisite prior to donning gloves and following their removal. Additionally, the design of the hand washing facility should minimise contamination of the user and the washroom environment.
Our updated downloadable ‘In Safe Hands’ brochure provides detailed guidance and advice on managing hand washing, hygiene, products and systems that meet the demands for the food processing, food service and retail industries. Our teams work with our customers to design and implement robust hand hygiene policies to achieve the highest standards and the brochure works alongside this as an ongoing point of reference.
Marek Miszta from Holchem, comments: Our expertise in the design and management of successful hand hygiene policies is second to none and our customers in the food service, food processing and retail industries look to us to help ensure they implement EU legislation and meet specific industry guidelines.