We take a lot of care while preparing food at home but is the same trend followed in the foodservice industry or neglect is an option there?
When we are preparing food at home we consider maintaining hygiene as one of the most important factors but can same be said about people working in the food service industry? There are a multitude of factors that should be pondered over while one is working in the foodservice industry or in any industry associated with.
There are severe ramifications when precautionary measures are ignored or not followed because consequently such ignorance leads to germ build up. There are a ton of microorganisms specifically associated with raw or uncooked food and those who are in any way related to the food industry should make it their top priority to take hygiene measures.
Unilateral approach to solving this problem would never work because this problem is evident on international scale and hence, a holistic approach is required. This simply means that health authorities around the globe should come together to impose strict measures and descriptive guidelines for industries directly or indirectly associated with health of the people.
Facts to consider
Yes, cleaning products do play their part in preventing the spread of germs within such industries but even the best disinfectant cleaner can’t do anything if the people in uniform are not ready to abide by hand hygiene rules. For those of you believe in statistics, here are few figures to throw around:
About $15.6 bn in losses are accounted for every year due to the food contamination and approximately 9 million Americans become victims of gastroenteral diseases due to this. There are many around the world that need hospitalization every month due to contaminated food and some of them even pass away. In its entirety, this problem is a preventable one and by taking adequate hygiene measures and raising proper awareness we can save many precious lives, every year.
Reiterating the importance
We have been going around the topic times and again but then again one just can’t emphasize enough on the topic of hand hygiene. Hands are by far the most probable cause of contamination because it is with our hands that we interact with objects, people, and surfaces. At any given time someone who is not wearing gloves and is dealing with uncooked food can have tons of bacteria and viruses on his/her hands.
When this specific individual choses to be a simpleton and doesn’t wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, he/she adds to the unseen spread of germs. Every surface this person touches becomes contaminated and every hand he/she shakes becomes another germ hotspot, making it harder and harder to control the spread.
How to protect?
The best way is to wash hands with soap and water but you can also use a sanitizer, Dettol hand wash or any other hygiene products you find suitable. However, to make it harder for germs to proliferate and because you want to eliminate all the cross contamination routes, you should start wearing gloves.
The role of gloves
Within the food industry these gloves might be made up of any sterile material. The basic idea is to cut the spread of germs by making hands germ free. When someone touches uncooked food with gloves on, germs get onto their gloves instead of affecting their hands directly. When this person disposes off gloves after handling the cooked or uncooked food, germs go with the gloves into the bin thereby saving the wearer completely.
The danger zone
Kitchen is an area where all the cutting, dicing, and slicing takes place. This is the dangerous part because when it comes to simmering pots, boiling water, and aromas of delicious cuisines, danger has already been dealt with. It is on dirty chopping boards and grimy slabs that these microbes survive and if these are not cleaned timely, the same germs from previous food can latch on the newly washed meat, vegetables, and even cooked food.
If a cleaned plate is placed on such surfaces, germs might get onto it and from there in to cooked food, that’s how germs spread sometimes and surely you don’t want that to happen. So, on top of using appropriate kitchen cleaning products, all of the workers should be wearing gloves too and it’s better to colour code chef’s gloves, the cleaner gloves, and gloves for other jobs.
From cooking to serving, every individual involved should wear gloves and once they are done putting food onto one table, everyone should change gloves. This is how one can stop the spread of germs.
Authorities like Centers for disease control and prevention recommend washing hands frequently throughout the day and because foodservice industry is closely related to people’s health everyone involved should take hygiene maintenance very seriously. Dettol has been at the forefront of this awareness campaign since its inception and welcomes all to become a part of the effort.