Good supply decisions are those that endure. They start from the strategic view where risk was assessed and understood by all ... including purchasing. Good everyday purchasing decisions require strong leadership. Buying products where tolerances are poorly defined can easily sink into single, price-based criterion.
In healthcare, this is minimized by the Infection Control Committee which must approve all supply changes. There is no such integrating body avaiable to the puchasing professionals in resturants, schools and long-term care operations. It is oh so tempting to buy something cheaper to the cheers of those unaware of the risk factor.
Best practice handwashing requires skin-friendly deep-cleaning soap and a reliable, easy-to-see/service, touch-free dispenser. Integrated technologies are setting the pace in advancing the science of handwashing. Best-In-Class solutions are a good place to start before making potentially costly compromises.
This combination encourages staff handwashing, lowering the risk of an outbreak and protecting customer health as well as operator brand values. This breed of soap system serves the frequent-washer with good cleaning and fast rinsing in order to protect the health of their skin. Savings of time and water are commonly available when specifying quality systems based first on performance rather than the soap's price per liter or gallon. The Purell dispensers are now monitoring enabled to connect with multiple data gathering/reporting technologies. When the data cartridge is onboard, this is referred to as a SmartLink™ dispenser.
Direct costs of soap by the liter vary widely. The best choice is often the one that most effectively covers the range of “immeasurables" like never running out of soap, providing staff motivation to wash, saving operational time (wash and rinse times), reducing employee absenteeism, increasing dispenser reliability and saving water.
Soap systems to avoid:
1. Refillable dispensers commonly harbor bacteria and are nearly impossible to clean once contaminated. 2. All soaps with unreliable delivery. Dispenser issues deter frequent handwashing. 3. Soap dispensers where it is difficult to see fill level and challenging to change cartridge/bag. 4. Harsh soaps. Where extra cleaning is sought, extend the wash time or use a nailbrush. 5. Strong smelling soaps as they too deter frequent use. 6. Bar soap. Note: “Brushless Carwash” type automatic handwash systems must be tested for full soil removal. These options lack the hand-to-hand friction necessary for good cleaning. They are acceptable where light-duty cleaning is specified.
Effective hand soap > more frequent handwashing > less risk of illness
Liquid or Foam
Well formulated hand soaps, liquid and foam, provide both effective cleaning and an incentive to wash frequently.
Failure on either point cuts compliance levels and raises operator risk. Pre-foamed hand soap spreads quickly and evenly. Its cling factor holds the cleaning power in place, reducing waste, consumption and potential skin irritation. Ease of thorough rinsing and general aesthetics are preferred by food workers, encouraging frequent use. Others prefer liquids, particularly in operations where heavy soil conditions prevail. Whether you prefer liquid or foam delivery systems, insure the product selected delivers these desired results.
Breaking the Fecal-Hand-Oral Chain with "The Doubler"
The best implement to wash a hand is the other hand. (See the Core Handwash.) Brushless hand washing is the standard. However, there are limitations. In the case of handwashing, the use of a nail brush in select situations is often essential for effective cleaning.
Proper use of a Best Practice nailbrush can double the cleaning power. Friction is an important factor in hand cleansing. It helps penetrate and remove biofilms. It is better to use a good nailbrush in high soil situations rather than selecting an aggressive handsoap.
Paper towels, single-use paper towels, are the clear Best Practice for hand drying in the fast paced professional food handling environment. They are both effective and fast, the two critical elements of choice.
Electric hand dryers have NO PLACE in food areas (see data and test results), mainly because they are neither effective nor fast. Most users walk away with wet hands and wet hands transfer bacteria 500 times more readily than dry hands. Others wipe them dry on aprons and other soiled surfaces. This can lead to reactivating dormant bacteria and re-igniting a chain of cross-contamination. Pathogens thrive in wet, warm conditions. Wet hands are also a source of accidental knife injuries and increase the dangers of dropping glassware and hot food.
Alcohol sanitizers are proven boosters to hand cleanliness in the foodservice arena. Not dependent on residual chemicals to kill pathogens, alcohol hand sanitizers do not carry the risk of possible food contamination and do not build microbial resistance.
Well formulated alcohol sanitizers have controlled-release systems which help spread the alcohol and hold it in place for maximum effectiveness. Emollients, skin's moisture maintainers, take over as a final protective action.
(Watch for an (important addition this week, comparing ten leading formulations.)
How to keep norovirus and hep A in the restroom and off the menu.
Norovirus and hep A continue to plague foodservice operations. Our understanding of norovirus, the leading cause of foodborne outbreaks, has been hampered by our ability to isolate the pathogen and pursue laboratory research. This void is rapidly being filled by studies conducted at Emory University and North Carolina State.
The Viral Ports of Call. Establish the ill customer and ill employee blockade.
Imagine a blockade to keep virus out of the restaurant, a first line of defense.
Breakthrough Norovirus-effective Formulation Now Commercially Available
The use of Food Code compliant alcohol hand sanitizers in Foodservice has been suppressed for years by relatively low effectiveness on their number one cause of foodborne outbreaks, norovirus. Formulations deploying new synergists potentiate the alcohol base and more than triple its predesessor products' effectiveness. It is more than 10 times more effective than the thin liquid versions. The foodservice market now has a very effective and convenient option which is also skin friendly.
The trail of invisible hand-prints supports touch-free and demands higher surface cleanliness standards.
Cleanliness standards are a critical element considered in designing and selecting equipment for both kitchen and customer space. However, these standards are dominated by noble words rather than science-based facts. Easy to clean is one common standard and the second is Clean to sight and touch. These verbal descriptors seemingly served us well in a world of stainless steel, smooth, easy-to-clean designs and easier to controlbacteria.
Frequently touched foodservice surfaces warrant watching more closely. They deserve having standards and a system to measure, monitor, motivate and manage. ATP, Adenosine Triphosphate, provides the chemistry for realtime measurement, providing a simple but memorable self-demonstration method for those charged with both periodic schedules and the clean-as-you-go staff. Its visual. Its personal. It gets done.
Surface cleaners and sanitizers protect the foodservice operator and staff in two important ways: