A sanitation products company is challenging food industry professionals to check their hand hygiene and ensure it’s up to snuff.
The Great Hand Sanitizer Challenge, launched by California-based Best Sanitizers, has to ensure production plant personnel are working with the cleanest hands possible. The program puts five questions to participants, to determine if their current program is effective in guarding against pathogens.
Cleanliness is key
Ryan Witt, vice president of sales and marketing for Best Sanitizers, told FoodProductionDaily.com that hand cleanliness is a crucial, yet often overlooked, aspect of food processing sanitation.
“Since workers are an integral part of the production process, there’s no way to escape the fact that they are touching the product in some way, shape or form,” he said. “The more a food processor can do to reduce contaminants from workers’ hands, the safer the food will be.”
Witt added that even in the most careful and cautious processing environments, hands are susceptible to causing cross-contamination.
“Hands and more specifically, the fingernails, cuticles, creases and crevices of the hands and fingers, are a breeding ground for pathogens,” he said. “Whatever contaminant we have on our hands can easily be transferred to the next thing we touch.”
Further, Witt said that in the course of a normal work day, it is nearly impossible to monitor that employees wash, sanitize and re-glove every time they use the restroom, take a break, sneeze, cough, or touch their face. Using proper hand sanitizing products, he said, can help alleviate the risk of product contamination.
The five key evaluation criteria put to participants in the challenge are:
- Is your current hand sanitizer proven 99.9999% (LOG6) effective in killing 26 pathogens critical to food processors?
- Is your current hand sanitizer delivered as an atomized spray to saturate fingernails, cuticles, cracks and crevices of the hands and fingers where pathogens hide?
- Is your current hand sanitizer formulated with dual, food grade emollients to help keep hands soft, smooth and healthy?
- Is your current hand sanitizer manufactured in a cGMP, FDA and EPA/FIFRA compliant facility?
- Is your current hand sanitizer NSF registered, and does it meet all FDA (GRAS) and USDA requirements for food handling?
Companies that sign up for the challenge are provided with free samples of the firm’s Alpet E3 Plus hand sanitizer.