Food for thought

26 January 2018

​In an environment such as food preparation, where germs are so easily transmitted and the risk of foodborne illness is so high, good hygiene is of the utmost importance says GOJO Industries-Europe

An outbreak of food poisoning or a poor assessment by food hygiene inspectors can do irreversible damage to any establishment. If diners become ill, not only is this particularly unpleasant for them, it has a broader impact on the business. Reputations take a long time to build, yet are so quickly damaged following such incidents; potentially leading to a loss of existing and new business. Furthermore, there are the financial impacts to consider such as fines and/or compensation to those affected.

Regular and thorough cleaning should, therefore, always be a priority. However, even with this being the case, 35% of foodborne illness cases in food production and service environments are attributed to poor sanitation and 16% of these are due to contaminated equipment or environment.

The WHO (World Health Organization) reports that foodborne diseases are a growing public health problem worldwide, particularly for infants, children, and the elderly. It estimates that there are over 200 diseases spread through food. 

Personal hygiene certainly plays a vital role in the fight to help prevent the spread of germs. It is critical staff are diligent and that effective hand hygiene regimens are in place. There are extra measures that can be implemented within food contact areas to help further reduce the spread of germs. 

Prevent and protect

Surface sanitising sprays and wipes are now readily available and act as an additional layer of protection against germs on a variety of surfaces, from worktops and sinks, to food storage containers and kitchen utensils. These products can be used quickly and effectively and combined with a thorough hand hygiene and cleaning routine help to play a part in ensuring food contact areas are safe for use.

Choose appropriate solutions

When looking to purchase surface sanitising products, ensure that you make an informed decision and that they are appropriate for the required use. Within food contact areas, surface sanitising sprays and wipes should be ready-to-use, highly efficacious, fast acting and quick drying. Look for products that have passed the ISO 4120:2007 food tainting test as it is paramount that products do not taint the food’s smell or taste.

Also crucial when looking at these types of products is to know what they have been tested against. For example, products that are bactericidal, fungicidal, virucidal and proven to be effective against some of the biggest dangers within the food environment such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria & Yeast, give you the confidence that surfaces will be protected against these virulent germs.

Good for germ killing, good for the environment

Product performance is not the only important factor to consider when looking at surface sanitising products. Sustainability is also high on the priority list, therefore finding solutions that combine exceptional product performance with a reduced impact on the environment is key. Companies should consider a sustainable approach and take into consideration the complete lifecycle of a product, from raw material selection to end of life.

Food contact areas shouldn’t be germ transmission points. Simple yet effective surface sanitising products as a part of a complete food safety management system mean that owners can rest assured that their establishment is safe and confident that they have taken all appropriate measure to eliminate germs.