Norovirus control demands actual handwashing - not more handsinks, training nor restroom signage.
Las Vegas casinos consider handwashing as brand protection, first for the global brand, “Las Vegas”, and second for their own as they vie for guests in a very competitive environment. Casinos understand risk better than most and the Handwashing For Life® Institute applauds their leadership for hosting the Norovirus Summit series over the years.
Norovirus Summit III Workshop was held in May, 2016, at the South Point Casino, thanks to the Nevada Food Safety Task Force (NFSTF). Its focus was on noro-effective handwashing and high-touch surface cleanliness.
Electronic Handwash Monitoring (EHM) took center stage as it became clear that a noro-effective handwash was simply one that actually takes place and can be rewarded. That can only happen with objectively, cost-effectively collected, processed and reported data. Nevada’s Casinos listened closely and raised issues they checked out the features and benefits of four systems. This market is an early adopter when they see something that can make a difference in protecting the well-being of their clientele.
Progress on wireless technologies has had a very positive, unintended consequence on professional grade handwashing and public safety. Early advances were focused on improving communications but now we see safer food for away-from-home diners as meaningful handwash data can be gathered at a much lower cost than observation and past digital technologies.
The difference stems from the use of wireless data to confirm actual performance and thus become a source of income growth for entry level restaurant staff and their leadership. Compliance to the mission-critical handwashing policies is nothing more than a measure of their professionalism and a source of job advancement for all.
Wireless “observation” of handwashing produces a much more accurate picture of the current reality verses the random visual check by a very busy supervisor on the line to deliver service often measured by customers in terms of speed. Slow service is measured by social media complaints whereas missed handwashes go unreported, unnoticed and undisciplined.
The innovative foodservice leaders of Nevada are now evaluating this new opportunity. Early adopters will be the chefs that see safe food even more important than their culinary skills, production and efficiency. They will be joined by chain franchisees who can least afford another high-profile outbreak.
Corporate technology assessment teams are being formed with C-Suite representatives from Food Safety, Risk Management, F&B/Operations and Information Technology. They collaborate to agree the standards for ServeReady® Hands, check current practices and decide between what the Handwashing For Life Institute calls the The Gambler’s Handwash vs The Brand Protection Handwash.