to Overcoming Underwashing
The chain of cleanliness risk factors is led by poor handwashing. It is the #1 cited element in outbreak investigations. The risk of the unwashed hand has largely gone unaddressed because of the lack of standards and meaningful measurement tools. New monitoring technologies are proving to be game changers. Verified clean hands, ServeReady® Hands, protect brands and are emerging as a customer-valued reason to return - a new corporate asset.
Managing risk is the primary driver in handwashing enhancement initiatives. It defines handwashing protocols. Process control is a minimum outcome. Risk assessment requires collaboration as the microbiologically savvy professional helps balance the technical severity of risk with the C-Suite's view of probability. Once the handwashing process is agreed, future changes in supplies and equipment must be made in the context of risk, avoiding the maxi-expenses of an outbreak or recall frequently caused by a string of mini cost-cutting measures which erode compliance behaviors.Learn More on Assessing Risk
Resources: Understanding Risks
Set Safe Level Standards
Standards provide the language for inter-departmental collaboration in agreeing the goals for training as well as customer and brand protection. This step translates the management's tolerance for risk into traceable performance numbers.Learn More on Setting Safe Levels
Train & Motivate
Training must be preceded by education, covering the "Why" of handwashing. This is key in engaging the food handling staff in the professionalization process. Workers must want to wash their hands if the gains from the training are to be sustained. Make it personal and visual.Learn More on Training & Motivating
Resources on Training & Motivating
Verification closes the loop by reporting policy-based performance. What gets measured and acknowledged gets done. Rewarding the good and disciplining the less-than acceptable behaviors are key to sustainability.
A Successful Monitoring Plan…
Looks a lot like a business plan or a document seeking funding for a new business. A statement of values sets the direction for the objectives, budgets, team and timetable.
The strategy and tactics are collaboratively agreed. Shared handwashing data becomes the common language to sustain this marker of brand protection.
for a Successful Monitoring Plan
Continuous improvement in handwashing is the best standard in lowering the risk of brand-damaging outbreaks. Solid, reliable data becomes the foundation on which to build years of success. This calls for a long-term alignment of resources, hence a strategic view.Learn More about Monitoring
for a Successful Monitoring Program
A menu of resources is available to address specific issues and assist in the implementation and verification stages. Data quickly becomes the common language for project-critical departmental collaboration.Resources for Monitoring
The HandsOn™ System for
ServeReady® Hands & TouchReady® Surfaces
The HandsOn™ System is a five step risk-based program to overcome the underwashing of hands and the surfaces most likely to contaminate those hands. It is a roadmap to assess current risks, set standards and implement integrated best practices. Its design is to motivate, control and sustain better behaviors. HandsOn is HACCP for hands executed for continuous improvement.
Leadership Forum Members
Misunderstanding of regulations perpetuates poor cleaning
Many operators and even regulators continue to use and recommend cleaning restaurant tables and other high-touch surfaces with a reusable rag stored in a bucket of sanitizing solution.
Olmsted County, MN continues to lead the way
“ quality controls … to safeguard consumer and employee health.”
Celebrating the Culture of Caring
S.Truett Cathy, founder of the very successful Chick-fil-A chain, had “Hire for Culture” as his #1 criteria in recruiting new employees at all levels. Foodservice operators who hire right have employees who care. This group needs leadership and regular feedback on their performance.
A FSMA Produce Rule solution
Research has found that farmhand’s hands are a major factor in contaminating ready-to-eat produce. Conventional thinking about feces-contaminated water and manure fertilizer as the major sources was challenged in a study by Emory University. Their research included a successful field-testing of SaniTwice®, referred to as the "two-step ABHS intervention" (Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer.)
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.