Make a Realistic Plan
If your hand wash stations are less than ideal get started on a continuous improvement program. While it is nice to have the latest and best of equipment, great improvements can ALWAYS be made in hand washing practices using existing facilities more effectively. Often minor changes and/or additions can have a dramatic impact on employee use.
First Steps and Priorities:
- Soap: Eliminate any open top soap dispensers as they can harbor microbes and/or be a source of contamination. Install a closed bag soap dispensing system that comes equipped with a device for counting the number of times it is used. A counter is critical to provide management with a means for establishing and monitoring proper handwash performance. For more information on soap and dispensers. Visit: Best Practice, Hand Soap
- Towels: Wet hands readily transfer pathogens to food, utensils and other surfaces. Eliminate all blow dryer systems from employee handwash stations. Research has demonstrated hot air drying is counter good hand hygiene practices. Select and install single use paper towels that deliver soft, fast, one sheet drying results. Install touch free towel dispensers (ie. no levers, buttons, dials to touch).
When hands-free dispenser is not available, clean the dispensing parts frequently and sanitize with a good surface sanitizer. Visit: Best Practice, Paper Towels
- Hand Sanitizers: Install hand sanitizing stations in kitchen areas where it is not currently practical to install a full handwash station with water and drainage facilities. Also insure waiter staff have access to hand sanitizing stations at, or near, their work place. For more information visit: Best Practices, Hand Sanitizer
- Water: Ideal water is heated to 100ÂºF and flowing at a 2 gallon per minute rate. Temperature is critical to encourage frequency of washing; flow is critical for effective washing. Take corrective action if temperature is not comfortable. Also consider hand sanitizer and towel dispenser if warm temperature cannot be delivered to station.
Visit: Best Practices, Water
- Nail Brushes: Often nail brushes harbor more microbes and pathogens than any other appliance in the kitchen. Dispose of high-risk brushes (ie. wooden based, glued or stapled bristles, chained to sink, etc) and replace with fused bristle brushes. Send through dishwasher frequently to sanitize. For more information Visit: Best Practices, Nail Brush.
- Handsinks & Faucets: In an existing operation it is often difficult to replace these basic fixtures. Insure that any renovation takes the best technology into consideration.
- Consier an integrated solution with a hygienic money saving touch-free hand hygiene station.
- If you currently have faucets with hand operated taps or buttons consider replacing with automatic faucets or retrofitting with a hands-free, or low touch, appliance. At a minumum try to replace highly grooved taps with smooth surface taps for easy cleaning and sanitizing.
- If taps are your only option insure surfaces are cleaned regularly and sanitized regularly during the shift. Consider placing a surface sanitizing spray bottle at each hand wash station..
- Teach employees to use hand towels to turn off faucets to prevent cross contamination.
- Visit: Best Practice, Faucet
- Convenience: A hand wash station should be within 3-4 steps of all workstations in the kitchen. This is difficult to change in an existing facility, but proper design should be a priority in any renovation. Short-term, consider hand sanitizer and towel dispensers in areas under serviced by hand wash stations Visit: Best Practices, Design.
Full Service Distributors: These companies can be your best source for upgrading your hand wash stations at lowest total cost. They know the suppliers, carry the products and service from local outlet.
- For information on being endorsed as a best practice distributor please contact Jim Mann.