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Washroom hygiene in food service environments

06 May 2021

IN MOST food processing and food service environments the handling of food is commonplace and often impossible to avoid.

Cross-contamination by the transfer of pathogenic or food spoilage organisms can be a significant issue.  Hands are one of the most common vehicles for transfer of microorganisms and can become contaminated in several ways. The lack of hand washing when required and not following a correct hand washing procedure are the most common problems observed. There’s been a huge focus on hand hygiene during the current COVID-19 pandemic and frequent hand washing remains the best way to control COVID-19 transmission.

John Holah, Holchem’s principal corporate scientist: food safety & public health, said: “However, there may be many surfaces that operatives could touch, post hand washing, that may be contaminated, particularly in the washroom area. Washroom cleaning practices should, therefore, be increased, with particular attention placed on the frequent disinfection of constantly touched surfaces e.g. dispensers, sinks, taps, driers, PPE self-serve storage (hairnet, earplugs, glove, beard net, hardhat/bump cap)

“Where hand washing is not possible, or as an adjunct to hand wash, frequent use of hand gels/rubs should be established.  The publicised approach is to use products containing between 60% - 80% alcohol which dissolve the lipid envelope of the coronavirus. Other hand sanitisers, aqueous based plus biocide, can also be effective.

“The objective of the food handler when washing their hands should be to reduce the number of transient microorganisms to a safe level. Germs that can cause disease can become trapped in dirt, grease and in the natural oils on the hands. Holchem’s team designs and implements robust hand hygiene policies to achieve the highest standards and uses its extensive range of effective hand care products to achieve results. The products are available in Cartridge and Refillable systems.”

The refillable range includes: 

  • Hand Soap - a liquid hand soap combining the cleansing power of synthetic soaps with an emollient that reduces the drying of the skin. It is unperfumed to avoid the tainting of food and is suitable for use in food processing or preparation areas
  • Hand Mousse - a foaming hand soap, combining cleansing power with an emollient system and an antimicrobial agent. It is un-perfumed and maintains the skins natural moisture levels and elasticity. The antimicrobial efficacy of Hand Mousse has been tested and passes EN12054 and EN1499
  • Handsan - A non-alcohol based antimicrobial, non-drying, post hand wash hand sanitiser liquid. The antimicrobial efficacy of Handsan has been tested and conforms to EN1500 and to EN14476 for enveloped viruses
  • Microclenz Liquid is a ready to use alcohol-based hand sanitiser (>65% alcohol). It is dispensed through a refillable hand sanitiser dispenser. The antimicrobial efficacy of Microclenz has been tested and passes EN1276, EN1500 and EN14476.

For further information on Holchem and its range of hand care products visit https://www.holchem.co.uk/divisions/foodservice-and-facilities/product/handcare-products/