Lack of hand washing sink availability an issue in West Indies

Teal portable hand wash unit being used by street food seller in Jamaica

Why it’s important to focus on hand washing – with soap and water

Seconds save lives: Clean your hands! was the theme for this year’s World Hand Hygiene Day, which was targeted at medical professionals and healthcare workers last May.

It would make a great deal of sense if the food industry in the West Indies took these important messages on board as well: it is, after all, confronted in many cases by the “same problem” – the need for effective hand hygiene, argues a recent report on the Jamaica Observer website.

“Outside of COVID-19, do we really need to focus on hand hygiene?” asks the author Navenia Wellington, who provides two answers to her own question, with the simple one being “yes”.

The complex answer flags up the importance of clean hands when it comes to food preparation.

“…poor personal hygiene, such as poor hand-washing practices, is in the top two causes linked to foodborne illnesses.”

Hand washing signs and reminders can be seen in restaurants and other food outlets across Jamaica says the report. Which in itself is all very well, but hand washing must be undertaken properly to be effective – with soap.

Washing hands with a Teal Handeman Xtra portable sink
Washing hands with a Teal Handeman Xtra portable sink

Workers identify hand hygiene “barriers”

A quoted survey amongst food workers (albeit one that took place a few years ago) identified “Availability of supplies and accessibility of sinks” as the main obstacle to effective hand washing.

The provision of suitable washing facilities is the first part of the two part equation argues Wellington. They must be properly maintained, kept in good working order – and with a ready supply of soap and paper towels being made available.

Hand Washing: ‘Seconds Save Lives: Clean Your Hands!’ »

Why saving water is crucial during the pandemic

The PAHO/WHO Office of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries has produced a public service announcement to encourage people to save water while washing their hands.

Teal portable sinks help to delivery a really effective hand wash, while using remarkably little water.

Efficient water use is a focus for Teal »

CHEVAUNNESINCLAIR is the exclusive distributor of Teal portable sinks for the West Indies »

They provide sales and servicing of the Teal range of portable hot water hand wash units and accessories.