Making handwashing easier, faster and safer ... makes handwashing happen!
Convenience and reliability drive handwashing compliance. Hand sinks are the core of most hand hygiene stations but it's the matching of complementary components that define a best practice choice. Frequent use is the goal of the savvy design consultant, not a minimum to pass the Plan Review.
Priority surfaces earn special attention. Cleaner surfaces, cleaner hands, safer food.
Hand hygiene is first thought of in terms of handwashing. But when setting standards for the frequency to achieve a Safe Level of handwashing you quickly realize the importance of clean surfaces. Cleaner surfaces protect hand cleanliness and proper use of food handling accessories minimize the need for handwashing.
Professional kitchens face contamination risks specific to their operation. Many such risks arise from surface soiling and situations driven by the menu and the food flow from the back door to the customer. The risks continue to follow the path of the customer through the service area to the exit of the facility and sometimes beyond.
An observational study of the food flow helps prioritize needed interventions. Surface contamination requires constant vigilance and systems of prevention. Some surfaces are inherently rich in pathogens, ready to transfer to bare or gloved hands. Operators are faced with the daunting task of prioritizing those surfaces to be sure high risk situations get the attention and the budgets they deserve – HACCP 101. Cleaning and handling practices must be looked at closely to establish systems which are easily trained and monitored 24/7.
Handling of raw foods and their separation from ready-to-eat foods is an obvious priority, starting with a color-coded system for cutting boards. As in most kitchen equipment choices, quality is king in setting up an effective cutting board system. Look for designs that are not only durable and easy to clean but offer handling and storing advantages. Cutting boards should be allowed to dry quickly to avoid possible bacterial growth from any microscopic residues. Boards should not be stacked while wet.
Ice Management is a second common area where TouchSaver™ solutions can eliminate a dangerous intersection of pathogens with food and drink. Moving ice from the ice machine to the bar or service area frequently results in dangerous hand contact. The pail is errantly set on the floor. The base is grasped firmly as it is tipped during the transfer. As the bucket is emptied, the now soiled hand is used to level the ice and position the scoop.
Untrained staff see ice as inherently safe, intuitively believing that freezing is as effective as boiling in germ control. This view blunts the trainer's message. A solution that bridges this food safety gap and endures the rigors of timely service, is best implemented via a systems approach.
Sourcing your Special Situation intervention systems:
- Look for experience and innovation. Foodservice is a very dynamic industry and is best served by those suppliers with credible expertise as a base combined with a capability and commitment to research trends in food and food handling. This focus feeds a constant flow of innovative solutions.
- Located for total convenience of users – ready access to the products and the people. Customer service is a key ingredient in formulating your supply strategy for this category.
- Look for NSF certifications on key food contact items.
- Select a supplier with a range of solutions that compliment the existing food handling and HACCP systems.
- Identify a supplier with credibility in Foodservice backed by a solid warranty and return policy.