Handwashing for Life

Overcoming Underwashing

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On entering your hotel room, place of work or study, wash your hands on arrival. Touch high-touch surfaces with care.

Last year's fast start on the Norovirus season caused concern from the CDC, FDA and all food safety savvy operators. This year two of the largest cruise liner outbreaks ever sent two ships back to port early with over 900 vomiting passengers. Once again the focus is on guest handwashing and the cleaning of shared surfaces, now recognized as a major guest-to-guest hazard.

Norovirus or Winter Vomiting Disease. Vomitus or Diarrhea. Fecal or Faecal. Contaminated Hands or Surfaces. Foodborne or Person-to-Person. We hear a lot of conflicting distractions. The six simple truths about norovirus are these:

The will to wash one's hands can be easily sidetracked by any one of these situations:

10. Grungy faucet handles

9. No paper towels available for drying

8. Handsink blocked or used for temporary storage

7. Handsink grime

6. Slow drain, waste water splashes

5. Handsink is too far away

4. Bar soap or harsh, poor rinsing soap

3. Water too hot or too cold, too slow to adjust

2. Empty soap dispenser

1. Scary refillable hand soap dispenser

Martha Stewart, like so many celebrity “demonstration” chefs, likely missed a handwash and paid a price, “spending days in bed.” We hope she is luckier than some where the salmonella retreats to slowly work on a weakened joint and ends up as a later-in-life knee replacement: New York Post Article »

For those demonstration chefs working in environments full of lights but short on running water, try the hand sanitizer based SaniTwice® protocol.


Twelve years of formal and informal research have provided the Handwashing For Life Institute with a long list of reasons and excuses for low handwashing rates. Operators seldom know their specific frequency rate but generally feel it is well below what they would like.

This long list has been distilled into The 5 Handwashing Hurdles. An explanation of each is available here.

Please take a moment to share your opinion as to which hurdle or hurdles you think are most responsible for lower than desired foodservice handwashing rates.



Take Survey »



eduCards are more about education.

Rather than serving as behavioral reminders as in posters, our eduCards call attention to hand hygiene risks where corrective actions may be in order. These are often attached to an email and exchanged within a organization to raise awareness of an unresolved issue. In some targeted situations eduCcards also serve as posters.


Why poor hand washers need better paper

Single-use paper toweling is a critical component in professional handwashing, whether in restaurants, schools, the workplace or hospitals and nursing homes. The choice of drying method and materials is first driven by user habits and the risks resulting from potential failures in the hand cleansing process. Hand hygiene breakdowns are measured by some in illness outbreaks and by others in absenteeism rates.

An expandable system encourages getting started.

Vision Enabled Training has introduced a system that can both track handwashing frequency and provide an indication of handwash quality by tracking one's time at the handsink. It is a system that is easily implemented, especially in the badge-free Team Mode.

How this standard strengthens profitability

Restroom Service ButtonA GuestReady Restroom is perhaps one of the most valuable customer loyalty programs. This small space plays a large role in customer retention. Restaurants don't have to spend advertising dollars to pull the returning customer away from its competitor. Here lies the increase in profitability.

First to Earn Handwashing For Life's 5 Star Hand Hygiene Award

The Atrio Restaurant's Chef Peter Fulgenzi had assessed his operation's risk if they were to experience a breakdown in their handwashing system. He set safe levels on both handwashing quality and frequency. His 12 handsink stations were optimized and he completed rigorous staff training along with a tightening of hiring policies. One gap persisted in his HandsOn process control system. Handwashing compliance monitoring remained compromised by observation only. 

Executive Summary:

The 12 questions, delivered in three short survey segments, were designed to raise awareness of some unaddressed sub-issues remaining from the 2012 Conference For Food Protection's Hand Hygiene Committee, charged with identifying alternate handwashing protocols.  This qualitative study was independent of the CFP process but conducted in a timeframe to capture and maintain the momentum from the May, 2012 Indianapolis session and serve as a bridge to the 2014 Committee which will be formed later this month.

Respondents were all attendees of the 2012 CFP meeting and included industry, regulatory and academia. 

The overarching goal of this study is to seek the 2014 CFP Hand Hygiene Committee's consideration of each recommendation. No direct response is anticipated. The final committee report will be presented at the 2014 session.

This final segment concludes our independent survey, gathering perspectives for consideration by the 2014 CFP Hand Hygiene Committee which will be announced following this month's CFP board meeting. Thank you for your responses. Here are the results:

Hey kids "Stop making my animals sick!"

SaniTwice® is a welcomed intervention at the University of Minnesota's National Center for Food Protection. So many times there is no convenient access to running water to facilitate good handwashing at petting zoos and state fairs. SaniTwice is a protocol that fills that void with effectiveness and convenience.

See what John Hoffman, Senior Research Fellow, has to say in the interest of overall safety for the kids and the animals.

Clean-as-you-go is the answer to TouchReady® Surfaces

Daily destruction of potential germ harbors has been the general protocol when attacking a restaurant's high-touch surfaces. Scheduled cleaning is an important component but deep cleaning once a shift or day allows bacteria and virus to flourish up to 24 hours. Considering the low infectious dose of norovirus and salmonella's ability to double every 20 minutes, gaps in the cleaning cycle quickly accelerate the risks.

Between the power of existing bacteria to form biofilms and the ability of virulent viruses to vacation in neglected areas for days or weeks, key surfaces require frequent attention. Bacteria and virus harbors are replenished with every new customer and every wave of service.

An independent gathering of perspectives for consideration by the 2014 CFP Hand Hygiene Committee ...

The 2014 CFP Committee charge and composition will not be finalized until the CFP Board meets in August. The intent of this independent survey is to make use of the three months where no official committee exists.

Two rounds are down.The final 4 questions will be sent in mid July. Participant suggested questions are welcomed through July 6th.

Qualitative interpretations for Survey 2 ...

  1. Solid agreement. This question came from a survey participant with considerable regulatory experience. He felt that without the FDA's signing on to a log 2 pathogen reduction as a standard, the committee could still move forward by considering it "supportive qualitative guidance."
  2. Without some agreed reference point, finding alternatives would not be feasible.
  3. Participants appear unwilling to restrict the committee charge to soap and water variables, even though evidence suggests a strong regulatory bias.
  4. Convenience plays an important role in compliance. Solutions which take the worker away from the work station are of little interest to many. Some respondents, 28.3 %, likely feel that inconvenience can be overcome with manpower and/or training adjustments.
  5. Responses are fairly clear cut. In the context of hand hygiene, removal of pathogens is equal to killing them.

Hand Hygiene Pre-Committee

A special thanks to the 81 who responded. Please review round one results below.

We have 8 remaining questions available to help the CFP Hand Hygiene Committee before its re-formation in August. Round two will be sent out in early June. Please send your candidate questions.

There is a definite response pattern making these results generally easy to interpret.

Question 4 required attendance at a particular session, resulting in a high count for the "neutral" option. 

Convenience results in a prompt remedy for water outages

Linking Training To Actual Behavior

Hands-On Logo

Start Right. Right Now!

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.

 

Definitions were obtained from various sources including:

Pages

Cini-Little Design
Design
The Eagle Group Handsinks
Handsinks
Hill+Knowlton
Outbreak Readiness
GOJO Hand Soap
Hand Soap
Tucel® Industries
Nailbrush
Kimberly-Clark Professional
Paper Towels & Wipers
Purell® Hand Sanitizer
Hand Sanitizer
Surface Cleaners
3M ATP Rapid Detection
ATP Rapid Detection
Brevis Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance
GlaxoSmithKline Hep A Vaccine
Hep A Vaccine
Merck Hep A Vaccine
Hep A Vaccine
Kleenex® Brand Paper Towels & Wipers
Paper Towels & Wipers
Cloud Clean Real-time Hand Wash Monitoring System
Monitoring Solutions
HigenX™ Hand Hygiene Monitoring Systems
Monitoring Solutions
GOJO® SMARTLINK™ Hand Hygiene Solutions
Monitoring Solutions
Chicago Faucets | a Geberit company Logo
Touch-Free Faucets

HandsOn™ System

5 steps to convert underwashing handwashing to under control handwashing. Set and track your risk-based ServeReady® Hands and TouchReady® Surface standards.

SaniTwice® Handwashing for Catered Events

SaniTwice<sup>®</sup> System

Uncompromized handwashing hand cleanliness for those serving food at venues without running water.

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