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 Special Report

Food for thoughtwhen it comes to hand hygiene

Suzanne DeMaine, Europeanmarketing manager for GOJO Europe, reveals how hand hygiene can be a valuable line of defence against the spread of infections in food production settings.

Many of us begin the New Year with the best of inten- tions, to banish bad habits forever and look to a brighter future. January is often seen as ametaphori- cal line in the sand, a chance to start again; and as we set about listing our resolutions for the coming months, the quest to eat more healthily often looms large. We are bombarded with

information about healthy eating on a daily basis, and themessages can prove confusing.We are encour- aged to eat fruit as part of our five a day, but then warned that its sugar con- tent isn’t good for teeth. One diet extols the virtues of protein-based foods, while another suggests we eat normally for five days a week and semi-fast on the remaining two. And then there is the debate about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats, and the amount of salt we con- sume. However, one thing that

can’t bemisconstrued is the importance of storing and preparing food in a hygienic manner.We are all familiar with the regularmedia sto- ries of food outlets that have failed hygiene inspections. Fromthe smallest local café toMichelin-starred restaurants, no outlet is safe fromthe glare of nega- tive publicity. The way our food is pro-

duced, fromthe sourcing of ingredients to themanufac- ture and packaging, is a subject that continuously attracts close scrutiny. Each individual link in the food production chain shares

equal responsibility for the safety and hygiene of the re- spective end results. Just one weak link and the chain can snap, causing untold damage in terms of future business and brand loyalty. Getting hygiene right is of paramount importance, and one of the key elements is a relatively simple premise - that of good hand hygiene. Good hand hygiene sys-

tems are notmerely nice to have ‘extras’ for food pro- cessing companies - they are essential to the smooth run- ning of their entire business. If just one employee doesn’t follow proper hand hygiene procedures then this can put the entire workforce - and company - at risk. Every company involved in

food production should have stringent HACCP processes in place, identifying the ‘criti- cal points’ in a process where food safety problems (or ‘hazards’) could arise, and putting steps in place to prevent things going wrong. By ensuring that effective, easy-to-use hand hygiene products are readily available to use at all the ‘critical points’, food processing companies can guard against these risks, with the added benefit of supporting their employees by demon- strating their commitment to safeguarding their personal health and well-being.

Formulation and functionalitymatter

Giving food production work- ers access to products and systems that they enjoy using can only help towards achieving a greater success

12 l C&M l JANUARY 2014 l

rate of reducing infections and cross contamination through compliance - and this plays just as important a role as product efficacy. The high frequency with which many food production work- ers have to clean their hands means that, unless they can do so without damaging them, compliance will suffer. Efficacy is, of course, an

important issue, so only those companies who can prove the effectiveness of their soaps or hand sanitis-

ers against germs through independent scientific test- ing should be considered. Similarly, formulations that have been tested and passed in accordance with interna- tional food taint testing stan- dard EN 4120:2007 provide assurance that they are safe for use in food processing establishments. However, the best products will suc- cessfully combine this with soothing,moisturising ingre- dients that are gentle on the skin,meaning that employ- ees can use the products again and again, knowing that their hands will be kept in good condition. The importance of encour- aging andmaintaining good

hand hygiene has the same implications for all compa- nies operating in the food production sector. By invest- ing in the best hand hygiene solutions, you protect your business and demonstrate your commitment to im- proving the well-being of your employees, providing peace ofmind to your clients and safe-guarding the end consumer.

Formore information about hand hygiene solutions fromGOJO call 01908 588444, email:, or visit united-kingdom.

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