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Hand hygiene ‘essential’ to food facilities

By Jenni Spinner+

20-Feb-2014

Hand hygiene resources, including staff education and sanitation, are key to food processing environment safety.
Hand hygiene resources, including staff education and sanitation, are key to food processing environment safety.

A food science specialist says ensuring an effective safety program at any food processing environment involves one key ingredient: its people.

Ronald H. Schmidt, Ph. D., professor and food science extension specialist with the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, said an effective safety program requires buy-in of all personnel in a food facility. That includes broad knowledge of sanitation practices, such as hand hygiene.

It is essential that the full meaning of sanitation and its wide economic scope be accepted by everyone concerned in the food system-including management,” Schmidt said.“Personnel training should include appropriate sanitation principles and food handling practices, manufacturing controls, and personal hygiene practices.”

Schmidt said that food processing plants must furnish personnel with effective hand cleaning resources, placed in close proximity to food handling areas. These resources include hot running water, and (where required) hand disinfectants.

Reducing risk

Best Sanitizers has launched hand hygiene and sanitizing products for food processing staff. The products in the Big Three line reportedly eliminate a range of pathogens and cut the risk of cross-contamination in production facilities.

A food processor needs to have confidence that the hand hygiene and surface sanitation products they’re using are highly-effective and meet all industry requirements for food handling,” said Ryan Witt, vice president of sales and marketing for California-based Best Sanitizers. “It’s one less thing the food processor needs to worry about."

Sanitizing products

Best SanitizersAlpet Q E2 sanitizing foam soap contains 0.11% benzalkonium chloride. The pH-balanced product battles 30 different pathogens but, according to the company, will not cause employees’ hands to dry and crack.

Alpet E3 Plus hand sanitizer spray is a 71% Ethanol formula said to eradicate 26 pathogens, including Listeria and E. coli. The product is NSF registered and meets FDA and USDA requirements for food handling.

The Big Three line also includes Alpet D2 surface sanitizer. The 58% alcohol/quat formula kills 15 bacteria and viruses, such as Norovirus, Listeria, Cronobacter Sakazakii, E. coli and Salmonella.