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Hand Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Food Safety Blog

Keeping Food Safe


Every year 5.5 million people are affected by foodborne illnesses in the UK[1]. A frightening statistic, which is made even more alarming when you think about how easily the pathogens responsible for foodborne illnesses are spread. Whether it’s from direct contact with other food, hands, equipment, surfaces or utensils, cross-contamination during food preparation is a significant factor associated with food-related illness.

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Topics: Hand hygiene, Handwashing, Improve Hand Hygiene, UK, Food Safety Practices, Fragrance Free Skin Care, Cross-contamination Prevention - Food Industry, Foodborne Illness, Food workers, Food processing, Food Employees, Food Preparation, Food Safety, Cross Contamination, skin care, hand sanitiser

Handwashing, Soap and Gloves: Food Safety in your Restaurant

There are about a million different kinds of hand soap available on the market. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I say that with a point in mind. There are a lot of hand-cleaning options available, and they still might not be the best choice in preventing the spread of germs and bacteria in your restaurant. This might come as a bit of a surprise considering how often we write about handwashing as the top way to prevent the spread of germs and reduce cross-contamination. I still stand by that, but with asterisks

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Topics: Hand hygiene, Hand Washing, Handwashing, Glove guidelines, Food Safety Practices, germs, Cross-contamination Prevention - Food Industry, Bacteria, CDC, Foodborne Illness, Gloves, Food workers, Food processing, Food Employees, Food Preparation, Food Safety, Cross Contamination

Food Safety Is In Our Hands

Did you know that 10 million bacteria would fit very comfortably on something as small as the head of a pin?  Given the right conditions, those 10 million bacteria would double every 20 minutes.  Unfortunately, these invisible germs are passed around our communities easily with the workplace being the main recipient. Although we are unable to see bacteria, the fact remains our hands are responsible for the spread of an estimated 80% of common infectious diseases. 

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Topics: Hand sanitizer, Hand Washing, Handwashing, Food Safety Practices, Cross-contamination Prevention - Food Industry, Foodborne Illness, Food Preparation, Food Safety, Cross Contamination

The Food Service Industry Can Help Prevent Norovirus Outbreaks

Most norovirus outbreaks from contaminated  food occur in food service settings, according to a Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infected food  workers are frequently the source of these outbreaks, often by touching  ready-to-eat foods served in restaurants with their bare hands. The food  service industry can help prevent norovirus outbreaks by enforcing food safety  practices, such as making sure workers always practice good hand hygiene on the  job and stay home when they are sick.  

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Topics: Hand hygiene, Hand hygiene compliance, Hand Hygiene Education, Hand Hygiene Training & Education, Hand Washing, Handwashing, Improve Hand Hygiene, Antibacterial soap, Hand Washing Efficacy, Hygiene practices, Food Safety Practices, Bacterial transmission, germs, Viruses, Gastrointestinal Infections, Cross-contamination Prevention - Food Industry, Bacteria, CDC, Norovirus, Foodborne Illness, Hand Washing Behavior, Hand washing compliance, Antibacterial hand wash, Food workers, Food processing, Food Employees, Food Preparation, Food Safety, Cross Contamination

Occupational Skin Disease: A Cost of Doing Business

Occupational skin disease (OSD) is the most common non trauma-related occupational illness accounting for approximately 14% all occupational illnesses.  It may come as no surprise that food workers have among the highest rates of OSD followed agricultural production, janitorial trades such as hotels and lodging and mechanics.  Food worker rates are over twice as high as other industries. Fifty-five percent of all skin problems in the industry are caused by contact with water, soaps and detergents, with a further 40% of cases arising from contact with food. When OSD occurs, almost half the time, workers compensation claims become involved with up to a quarter of those workers missing several days of work.  Food handlers on sick leave take longer to return to work than employees who suffer skin problems in other professions. The medical literature is well represented with accounts of food handlers suffering from; irritant hand dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, contact urticaria, and protein contact dermatitis and skin infections of the hand.  

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Topics: Food Safety Practices, Cross-contamination Prevention - Food Industry, Foodborne Illness, Gloves, Food workers, Food processing, Occupational Skin Disease, Preventing Occupational Skin Disease, Food Safety

Protective Gloves Get Used and Abused

To William S Halsted we owe a great deal, anesthesia, hospital charts, the hospital resident and last but not least, the rubber glove as we know it today.   While it is said he developed the first gloves to protect the hands of fair Caroline, his wife to be, he was no doubt the first to see some of gloves many challenges.  In both food and healthcare environments gloves can be a double edged sword, both protecting and contaminating, reducing exposures and producing exposures. This blog post will explore the glove risk paradigm in food and healthcare settings.

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Topics: Glove guidelines, Food Safety Practices, Infection Prevention in Healthcare, Cross-contamination Prevention - Food Industry, Foodborne Illness, Gloves, Food workers, Preventing Occupational Skin Disease

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