Leadership Forum Members
Data plus leadership records sustainable gains in handwashing behaviors.
Culture change is often cited as a requirement where hand washing rates need to be doubled to reach a safe level. The Atrio Restaurant in Carmel, Indiana, lead by Chef Peter Fulgenzi, took on that task, challenging his staff to accept their professional role in serving safe food and giving them a measurement tool to verify handwashing without filling in tedious logs.
Chef Peter Fulgenzi supported his staff by setting standards based on risk. He made investments in best practice hand hygiene stations to make it easy for staff to do the right thing. He set the conditions for success and started a rigorous training program.
His final step proved to be a game changer when it effectively closed the loop from Risk Assessment, Standards, Process Optimization, Training and finally, to meaningful Monitoring. He added electronic compliance monitoring to multiply the opportunities for human observations with cost-effective wireless electronics.
Here is a brief summary of Chef Peter’s decisions in creating his Culture of Culinary Caring:
How to use handwashing as the trigger
Culture change. The food safety culture. The culture of cleanliness. The Renaissance impact. Many books have been written and seminars given. Yes, corporate culture for centuries has guided progress on a path of continuous improvement. Culture change is regularly embraced by food and patient safety leaders as a noble and needed solution to their woes but their advocacy comes without an implementation manual.
There are many causes of the deaths attributed to infections acquired away from home - in restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes. Respectfully, those annual statistics are 3,000, 99,000 and 380,000. These numbers scream out for transformation to a culture of caring. The CDC reminds us that "Handwashing is the single-most important means of preventing the spread of infection." Poor hand hygiene is the most frequently cited contributing factor in outbreak studies.
Some historians go back to the Renaissance in Italy, where the risk of the plagues of the Middle Ages called for a large-scale culture change. Leaders stepped forward to define corrective actions. Replacing feudalism with capitalism was a key component. Cleanliness emerged as a popular differentiator, supported by sweeping changes in art and architecture.
Filtering out the marketing fluff around surface disinfectants
New surface cleaners stream in for consideration, attempting to change the market or at least carve out a niche. Many times lab data is provided, always finding a test method to make the new look good. This phenomenon is witnessed most frequently for new disinfectants where kill is demonstrated and cleaning is ignored.
Why women win competitive handwashing events
Are women better hand washers? No. Do women have cleaner hands? Yes, provided they lose the hand-bling and the artificial nails.
Handwashing For Life has witnessed and judged thousands of handwashes under competitive conditions. The contest is known best as the Handwashing Olympics. GlitterBug UV lotion is applied to hands and washed off. A UV light illuminates missed spots and areas. The results are noted using the ProGrade scorecard.
The case for obsessive hand hygiene
Travelers are herded into shared spaces and exposed to each other’s profile of pathogens hour after hour. A quick turn-around of the plane, train or cruiser leaves a residual base of germs to build on and the recharging of these reservoirs starts again. There is one universal precaution that works well - GOOD HEALTH! Second to that is obsessive hand hygiene.
Ten Commandments For The Caring Traveler
Legal action lerks with every meal prepared or served away from home.
Who owns the low-handwashing problem in chain restaurants?
Handwashing frequency is often less than desirable in most all restaurants with workers seeing little reason to wash more often and claiming to have little time as customer service trumps clean hands. Training helps but improvements don't endure. Quality Assurance doesn't have a handwashing system to monitor. Most all operational level employees, auditors, inspectors and headquarters' Quality Assurance teams know their handwashing rates are lower than desired. Who owns this problem?
The remedy for stored-data concerns
The Handwashing For Life HACCP Hands Scoreboard is a component of ECM, Electronic Compliance Monitoring. It is the scoreboard screen or marquee positioned in clear view of the kitchen and wait-staff work stations to alert the food handling team of their current handwashing performance. Some technologies will report frequency and others both frequency and the length of the wash. Badged and direct entry identification systems have the option to display performance by team or individuals.
A focus on non-food-contact surfaces
High-touch surfaces are often an enemy of wellness. Colds, flu and norovirus are among the most common pathogens acquired by unsuspecting staff and their guests. These contaminated surfaces are a major driver in staff absenteeism as well as other negative outcomes from a casual touch and transfer.
Recurring situations drive surface cleaning protocols in restaurants, institutions and hotels. These are grouped and a periodic cleaning schedule is established. Unwittingly, many operators apply the standards for food-contact surfaces to the high-touch, non-food-contact locations. This can result in unnecessary inconvenience as users don gloves and are expected to wash their hands each time they are doffed.
By definition, high-touch surfaces are contaminated frequently. It makes sense that a targeted cleaning process should consider frequency first.
New technologies provide simple answers to age-old handwashing issues.
A performance-rewarding pay package is THE answer to solving the industry’s appalling handwashing compliance rates. New technologies provide measurement standards and serve as performance monitoring tools.
Identify and implement a monthly incentive level worth working for. Here is a sample where an entry level employee's job performance can earn him or her up to $1,200 per year.
USDA reports the latest foodborne risks in terms of annual costs and deaths. Norovirus, second only to the common cold in prevalence, is not normally considered a killer but in reality ranks #4.
It is the season to take action. Consider Emory University’s research that identifies Purell VF-481 as an effective norovirus intervention and is as kind to skin as baby oil.
This animation is based on a surface contamination research study. It is not in a busy restaurant but rather a busy hospital area. How different would this be in a restaurant? Perhaps some university can conduct something similar in a foodservice environment.
An operator’s food safety risk is managed by a focused team of professionals with specific skills, objectives and measurements for success. Each works within a different time frame.
Norovirus, H3N2 flu, colds, Enterovirus 68 and Ebola ...
Norovirus rates are picking up in a variety of environments as the winter deepens, but this year, it shares the stage with H3N2 flu, Ebola and Enterovirus 68. These four, along with the common cold, are spread everywhere folks gather, calling for added away-from-home hand and high-touch surface cleanliness to protect the people they serve and to fight staff absenteeism.
Globally recognized for their ease of use in any language. Available in DVD and MP4 file download.
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