The very basis of safe food practices in making sure things are clean.
Dirty surroundings, dirty equipment, plus unclean utensils and storage area all attract pests and with them, the diseases and bacteria they harbour. This can transfer easily to food products. Dirty staff ie not washing hands or wearing unclean clothes will contaminate the food you produce even further.
80% of bacterial transfer is through people with unclean hands
Statistics have shown that in the food industry 80% of bacterial transfer is through people with unclean hands. Cross-contaminating the product being made and/or surface being used to prepare food eg: where a business deals with raw through to cooked chicken product, should a worker be involved in handling raw chicken and is then asked to look after some cooked or RTE (ready to eat) product, if the worker does not wash their hands before transferring to the 2nd area there is a great potential for deadly salmonella to be transferred to the RTE product. This could make someone ill or worse. The employer would be liable for this negligent act.
Washing hands is simple and easy
The simple and easy practice of washing hands often can prevent a multitude of ills. There is often argument as to whether disposable gloves should be worn. If proper training is given they can be a bonus. If someone is handling food and they have a sore on their hand or have to wear ‘say’ a wedding band, they are a must. But in the case of personnel thinking that the gloves are there to keep their hands clean and that they can pick up waste from the floor and immediately go back to food handling, or where staff feel they can “wash their hands with the gloves on” they are a hindrance or even a liability
Training is key.
What do you need to do?
In this extremely important area a business owner must make sure they:
- Document the training completed (even a simple 10min course). Write it down and file with the person’s personnel records or in a diary with what was discussed and the employee’s reaction
- Monitor that the training was effective (after training) and not just visually but document the monitoring carried out as proof that it was carried out.
These records can be vital in a court of law should there be a food poisoning incident.
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.