New levels of reliability can now demonstrate the full value of automatic/sensor faucets in the foodservice environment. Faucet handles are a major source in transferring the number one pathogen group responsible in food borne illness - the restroom acquired virus. No handles. No problem.
Electronic faucets can be custom programmed to fit the operation. Once programmed, they reinforce the training, making it easier for the food worker to do the right thing. By shutting down during scrubbing, these sensor faucets save nearly a gallon of heated water for every 20-second hand wash (water savings PDF).
Of its many merits, the principal benefit of the electronic faucet is its ability to improve hand wash frequency. Users know it is faster and easier. They wash more often.
Some models are equipped with their own monitoring technology to further support a path of continuous improvement in both hand washing and food safety. This can be particularly important for HACCP minded operations.
"Getting Started" to improve hand washing without the benefit of automatic faucets? If new faucets are not in this years budget then insure that existing faucets and taps are frequently cleaned and sanitized to reduce the risk of cross contamination. Consider permanently locating a spray bottle of a food safe, surface sanitizer at each handwash station location for ease of use. Also insure staff are instructed to turn off taps with paper towel they used for dying their hands.
Source: Journal of Food Protection: Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 72-80.
Quantification and Variability Analysis of Bacterial Cross-Contamination Rates in Common Food Service Tasks
YUHUAN CHEN,a KRISTIN M. JACKSON,a FABIOLA P. CHEA,a and DONALD W. SCHAFFNERa
aFood Risk Analysis Initiative, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-8520, USA
This study investigated bacterial transfer rates between hands and other common surfaces involved in food preparation in the kitchen. Nalidixic acid—resistant Enterobacter aerogenes B199A was used as a surrogate microorganism to follow the cross-contamination events. Samples from at least 30 different participants were collected to determine the statistical distribution of each cross-contamination rate and to quantify the natural variability associated with that rate. The transfer rates among hands, foods, and kitchen surfaces were highly variable, being as low as 0.0005% and as high as 100%. A normal distribution was used to describe the variability in the logarithm of the transfer rates. The mean ± SD of the normal distributions were, in log percent transfer rate, chicken to hand (0.94 ± 0.68), cutting board to lettuce (0.90 ± 0.59), spigot to hand (0.36 ± 0.90), hand to lettuce (-0.12 ± 1.07), prewashed hand to postwashed hand (i.e., hand washing efficiency) (-0.20 ± 1.42), and hand to spigot (-0.80 ± 1.09). Quantifying the cross-contamination risk associated with various steps in the food preparation process can provide a scientific basis for risk management efforts in both home and food service kitchens.
©International Association for Food ProtectionFaucet Selection
Faucet Selection Checklist:
- Identify a faucet supplier with credibility in Foodservice backed by a solid warranty policy.
- Chose a service-minded supplier with easy/local access to technical help.
- Select a lead-free solid brass construction, NSF-61 compliant.
- Select a model with a full 2.0-2.2 GPM water flow.
- Consider touch-free electronic options.
- Reliability is key. Be sure DC models have a battery life indicator.
- If possible, test capabilities and check existing in-stalls.