Farmers’ markets – lack of adequate hand washing stations a major cause of poor hygiene standards

The importance of effective handwashing at farmers markets

Food safety issues revealed by University research

Extensive research across Pennsylvania has demonstrated clear risks caused at farmers’ markets across the US state – namely high levels of potential cross-contamination – with two main causes being identified, according to a recent report on the Reuters UK website.

Tamara Mathias wrote that Pennsylvania State University researchers were focussed on unsafe practices by the sellers of food based products which could result in the spread of resulting illnesses.

As well as their own observations, they carried out a vendor survey and cross-referenced with their own observations and those of state health inspectors, wrote Ms. Mathias.

Lack of food hygiene issues understanding

The resulting conclusions were published in Food Protection Trends the general Membership publication by the International Association for Food Protection.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, there was a “discrepancy” between how food sellers claimed they behaved and the results of both the researchers and the state inspectors. The correct use of disposable gloves was clearly an area of concern, says the article.

“Within the group of vendors observed to be using disposable gloves, slightly less than half used them improperly.”

Lack of hand washing facilities

Improper use of disposable gloves and a lack of hand washing stations were the two main areas highlighted as giving cause for concern, with the latter being a particular worry.

“Vendors were observed eating, coughing or sneezing and then handling raw or ready-to-eat food without washing their hands.”

The report quotes one of the study’s authors Catherine Cutter.

“Lack of adequate handwashing stations and improper glove usage were probably the biggest problems we observed because there are opportunities for cross-contamination.”

Lack of handwashing facilities is often exacerbated by the fact that farmers’ markets often take place out of doors at a facility with no “permanent infrastructure”, where hand washing facilities were recently inadequate and limited, concluded the article.

Hygiene standards not up to the mark at farmers’ markets »

The photograph (above) shows a member of staff from mobile caterers Mrs Patels, who provide hand washing facilities for staff and customers on their delicious Indian grilled food stand – wherever it may be located.

Hand wash units for caterers – and their customers – that need no external water supply

TEAL hand wash portable sinks are the perfect solution for the food-related and catering industries. Two models in particular the Handeman Xtra Portable and the WashStand (shown below) are idea for mobile food outlets – they need no external water supply.

Just fill up the tanks with clean water from any suitable container and get washing!

Ideal for all catering related businesses such as Street Food suppliers, retailers, farmers’ markets and kiosks, outside catering, fast food outlets, ice cream vendors, coffee kiosks, sandwich bars and all other forms of mobile catering. TEAL hand wash units are also perfect for customers who use your facilities.

The TEAL range of mobile sinks for caterers »

The TEAL WashStand – wheel it to where you want it!