Regular hand washing for caterers is more important than ever says article
It is a commonly held belief that bacteria and germs are brought into a kitchen or catering environment from outside the facility. This is, in fact, a myth – most are already lurking there, according to a recent report on the Virtual College website.
The article clearly points the main finger of blame at a lack of cleanliness, which in turn causes illnesses to occur.
“In most instances, food poisoning is picked up in the kitchen due to poor food and kitchen hygiene.”
The report states that there are two main sources of germs in a catering facility:-
- They are brought in on food products
- They are also introduced on the hands of people who work there.
Cross-contamination, described as “one of the biggest health and safety risks in a working kitchen”, is caused mainly the hands of staff.
“The main way that these germs are spread around a kitchen is on people’s hands, which then leave them on surfaces, equipment and other food products.”
The report lists areas in kitchen where germs are found in greatest quantities, meriting extra caution. These include waste bins, the sink (which is why hand washing facilities should always be separate), sponges and kitchen cloths, surfaces that have been touched regularly and on kitchen tools and utensils that are deployed in food preparation.
The need for diligent hand washing
The article is clear that there is one activity in particular, that can help significantly reduce the causes of cross-contamination.
“…one of the best ways to reduce germs in your kitchen is to ensure that everyone working there is washing their hands.”
Hands should be washed both before and after every separate preparation of culinary task it advises. Similarly if they are “visibly dirty” – it’s time to head for the soap and water.
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