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Scrubbing up on hygiene


Phil Norris, from brush manufacturers Hillbrush, looks at the importance of hygiene in washrooms, particularly in foodservice operations.


Ensuring that washrooms are clean and tidy is a prerequisite of good food hygiene practice that all restaurants, coffee shops and hotels – in fact, anywhere which serves food to the public – should adhere to.


It promotes a positive image to customers and ensures that the establishment is as popular as it can be. Poor hygiene will turn customers away, but bacterial contamination can also cause serious illness and result in a visit from the environmental health officer, possible prosecution and could even be shut down. It pays to make cleaning and hygiene a top priority, starting with the washroom.


Food premises are inspected on an annual basis to ensure hygiene levels are up to scratch and displaying a Food Hygiene Rating is a voluntary way (and a legal requirement in Wales and Northern Ireland) of communicating to customers that hygiene is taken seriously. A dirty washroom says dirty kitchen.


Hands are the main pathways of germ transmission so good hand hygiene is an important measure to avoid the transmission of harmful germs and prevent infections. It’s particularly important in washrooms within food service operations and care homes, or any environment where food is prepared and served, that everyone is correctly trained in how to wash their hands thoroughly.


According to the World Health Organisation, hand washing needs to be thorough and take as long as singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends good nail hygiene and promotes diligently scrubbing trimmed fingernails which may harbour dirt and germs with a nailbrush.


All staff need to have adequate training to ensure cleaning regimes, including washroom hygiene, are implemented


“Hands are the main pathways of germ


transmission so good hand hygiene is an important measure to avoid the


transmission of harmful germs and prevent infections.”


effectively. It’s good practice to ensure any new starters too have an induction to understand the basic principles of food safety relevant to their role before they start work, particularly on correct hand washing procedures. It is also ideal to record any training, so operators can show enforcement officers during their visits that a training programme has been implemented.


Using high quality colour coded cleaning equipment too, along with good cleaning practices, are key to avoiding cross-contamination throughout. So, at a basic level, the same equipment should not be used for cleaning surfaces in contact with food as cleaning the washroom. Using colour coded brushes for different types of cleaning jobs will help keep a rigorous cleaning programme in place too. This is a practice widely used in food manufacturing which is now being adopted in many catering operations.


Hillbrush offers a range of Anti-Microbial Cleaning Tools specifically designed to prevent the growth and reduce the risk of bacterial cross contamination, minimise foreign body contamination and support HACCP and 5S best practise with colour-coded segregation. This means that cleaning tools specifically for the washroom can be kept separate from those used in the kitchen or for cleaning elsewhere.


A key feature of the Hillbrush range is Biomaster technology, a silver-ion based additive designed to inhibit bacterial growth which is proven to be up to 99.99% effective against harmful pathogens. All plastics in the cleaning tool products, including the brush filaments and resin, are infused with the additive. All components are FDA/EU food contact approved, as all of Hillbrush’s Hygienic Cleaning Tools are.


www.hillbrush.com 42 | WASHROOM HYGIENE twitter.com/TomoCleaning


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