The Greatest Agent of Hand Hygiene on Earth
Water is a great skin cleanser on its own. The importance of water, it's availability and it's quality are often taken for granted in the hand hygiene process. But, not all water is the same.
The quality and volume of water plays an important role in removing pathogens from the hands of food workers.
Conditioned water, heated to 100ºF and flowing at a 2 gallon per minute rate, speeds effective cleaning and, more importantly, encourages frequent hand washing. It is a valuable indicator of caring to both workers and potentially to the public.
Read white paper Handwashing water: What temperature?
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Pure water is powerfully effective. Removing contaminants, locally added chlorine and naturally occurring minerals, all improve the hand washing experience. Pure, soft water is not only more effective in promoting skin wetting, soaping properties and rinsing; but it can also reduce the consumption of soap and skin moisturizers. It reduces skin irritation and encourages more frequent washing.
Effective water treatment will also reduce equipment maintenance time and cost.
The Water Checklist:
- Insure kitchen design accommodates desired water temperature and volume during peak usage periods.
- Review water analysis with water treatment or foodservice consultant/designer. Check speed of hand soap foaming and rinsing.
- Select a reliable supplier for water treatment equipment and chemicals.
- Eliminate contaminants, any source of pathogens and odor causing contaminants from water.
- Identify and install reliable water conditioning equipment if necessary (foaming and rinsing properties).
- Document, assign and train staff on maintenance routines.
- Train staff in proper hand washing practices.