Protective clothing is used to protect the food from us.
Many food handlers seem to think that the protective clothing is worn to keep their street clothes clean! They think that disposable gloves are to keep their hands from being soiled when handling raw or cooked food. This is [obviously] not right!
Many people don’t realise that before putting on disposable gloves they need to wash their hands, and quite often it is a good idea to actually show people how to wash their hands. This mini training course may cause some humour, but it is very necessary to make sure that “we’re all on the same page”. Training is best done by showing people at a hand basin and then ask trainees to repeat the actions.
Workers also need to be trained in how to correctly put protective clothing on, and the order in which to put things on so that one piece of clothing does not contaminate another.
Once all of this vital training has been carried out with staff, the employer should document it. Keep a note, even just in a diary, of who was trained and what they were trained in. Also note their reaction. Did they take to training on-board or was their reaction one of disdain and a “couldn’t care” attitude.
If, after this training it is shown or seen that proper procedures are not being followed ie: protective clothing is either not worn or incorrectly worn, under-performance warnings and retraining need to be given. If still not being followed the workers should be replaced as they are putting the safety of food at risk.
Food safety should come before all else, including the attitude of recalcitrant staff.
HLP Controls’ are experts in food safety and have been working in the food industry with staff and HACCP Systems for 25 years.
We can advise and also complete training for companies who need it.
We also provide some free training courses on line – call our office for details.