Hand Hygiene Newsletter #11


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Hand Hygiene Posters. For additional hand washing and hand hygiene posters, please visit http://www.debgroup.com/ca/local/support-materials

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Hand Hygiene Newsletter #11

  1. 1. Volume 11, 2011Gloves and Sanitation Go Hand in HandDr. Ron WasikA recent review article about the merits of gloves in the foodindustry brings out several interesting facts. The piece was writtenby a group from Michigan State University in Lansing and publishedin the August 2010 issue of the Journal of Food Protection.Our BodiesThe amount of bacteria we harbour on our bodies and the degree towhich we shed these bacteria from the surface of our bodies maysurprise you. Some scientists estimate that our lower arms ( ngertips to lower elbows) are host to as many as 10 million bacteria, with90 per cent of these on our hands.As new methods are developed to identify di erent types and strainsof bacteria, scientists have discovered that there is a great diversityof bacteria living happily on us. One study reported nding 4,742di erent strains after sampling only 51 hands, Streptococcus and Those who argue against glove use point out that they can limitStaphylococcus being some of the dominant species. Women also nger dexterity; can contaminate foods if not used properly; pro-have a higher diversity of bacteria than men. vide a false sense of security, encouraging poor hygiene practices; are known to have pinhole leaks which permit bacteria to migrateOur skin cells are constantly being shed. As they leave our body, each from our hands onto foods; can cause skin irritations which discour-cell can carry anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 viable bacteria. For the age proper glove use; and can fall apart, introducing foreign matterfood processing industry, this can be a major problem. which may not be detected by conventional methods. The theme that resonates in the “nay” camp is that gloves can doAlthough mandatory in our business, hand washing has its limita- more harm than good if not used properly. So to get the bene t oftions. A number of publications have reported nding few di er- gloves, follow these guidelines:ences between washing with antimicrobial and regular soaps. Onereported that, even after careful scrubbing, bacteria will repopulate • Use gloves designed for the task.themselves in ve to six days. So it’s easy to understand why gloves • Always wash, dry and sanitize hands before donning gloves.are used extensively in the food industry. • Sanitizers can create pinholes. Do not apply sanitizer to the outside of a glove once it’s on your hand, unless the glove is designed to beGloves sanitized.Gloves made from either latex, rubber and non-latex materials such • Change gloves regularly or at least every break following the proce-as nitrile or vinyl are commonly used in the food industry and do of- dure outlined above.fer added protection, but there are a number of variables that deter- • Always wash your hands after removing gloves, as research hasmine their e ectiveness. Those who argue for gloves say they pro - shown that bacteria collect in the perspiration under the gloves.tect hands from harsh chemicals and hazardous situations; protect • -foods from direct hand contact; are easier to monitor, audit and en- bing food workers’ gloved hands.force than hand washing thoroughness and frequency; can be used • Constantly train and reinforce good hand hygiene practices.to cover bandages; can improve grip; and are e ective in preventingcross contamination. Dr. Ron Wasik, PhD, MBA (Dr. Fix It), is president of RJW Consulting Canada Ltd. rwasik@rjwconsultingcanada.com 1
  2. 2. Washing and Drying of Hands To ReduceMicrobial Contamination on Food Workers’ HandsProf. Ewen Todd, Michigan State University ment and to introduce regular training programs for safe production of food and for when and how to wash hands e ectively. Many people, workers included, feel that their hygiene routines are su cient because no adverse consequences have been experienced over many years of performing the same procedures. Gross hygiene errors may be in place for a long time in foodservice operations and not be identi ed until associated illnesses are reported. For instance, two United Kingdom catering facilities (in Scotland and Wales) were thoroughly investigated in public inquiries following large outbreaks with illnesses and deaths. Workers with management acceptance had contaminated cooked meat products. Washing Hand washing times of 15 to 30 seconds have been recommended by di erent agencies around the world. For many years sanitarians have speci ed that the hands of food service workers should be washed and rinsed in hot water to reduce the risk of cross-contamination and disease transmission. However, the use of water at these tempera- tures has not been supported by research. Hand washing with water at high temperatures may contribute to skin damage when frequent hand washing is required, and insistence on hot water usage may be a deterrent to hand washing compliance. To reduce the potential for bacterial transfer, food workers may need to wash their hands for longer than 15 s or may need to wash more often. Thorough rinsing is important because this action also removes potential skin irritants and contact sensitizers originating in food, soaps, metals, and facility disinfectants that could lead to dermatitis. Triclosan, triclocarban-trichlorocarbamide, and parachlo- rometaxylenol-chloroxylenol are commonly used antibacterial handEverybody’s hands are frequently contaminated with enteric micro- cleaning agents, however Gillespy and Thorpe found that germi-organisms, and food workers are no exception. These workers may cidal soaps were not remarkably more e ective than ordinary soapbe even more exposed because of their work with raw food ingredi- for reducing the numbers of bacteria transferable from the skin toents and their frequent contact with fellow workers and the public. handled objects. Infectious disease outbreaks have also been linkedUnlike hand contamination with staphylococci from the nasophar- to workers with long or arti cial ngernails. Without the regular useynx, the enteric bacteria that contaminate the hands of food workers of a nail brush, they are very di cult to clean even with appropriatemore often are associated with raw foods of animal origin rather than soaps, hand rubs, or gels.poor personal hygiene after visiting the toilet.Hand hygiene compliance at the retail food service level is known to Dryingbe inadequate. Hand hygiene practices of food workers are depen- Hand drying has two e ects: removal of moisture through absorp-dent on the type of work involved and the type and nature of the soil tion and removal of microorganisms through friction. The frictionon their hands. Compliance begins with a commitment by manage- generated during hand drying is even more important than thatment to designate safety as the number 1 concern in the establish- generated during washing because the soaping stage has 2
  3. 3. loosened the microorganisms from the skin. The drying stage physi- cessing or food service facilities, researchers found coliforms, E. coli,cally removes microorganisms in a lm of water from the skin by wip- and S. aureus on paper towel dispenser equipment. Air driers that areing and depositing them on a towel. Thus, hand hygiene e ciency is used in many communal washrooms allow one user at a time, anda combination of washing e ciency (soap, water, rubbing, and rins- that take up to 1 min to dry the hands, have not been convenient anding) and hand drying. lead to avoidance or incomplete drying. In several studies, on aver- age people spent 22.5 s drying hands, and 41% wiped their handsAlthough cloth towels are popular because of their rapid drying, unhygienically on clothes. Newer fast air ow driers are become morethey become contaminated through multiple usages, and once widespread but yet have to be completely evaluated for their sani-pathogens are deposited on towels, they can survive long enough to tary qualities. -rial in institutional paper towels, which are usually made of rougherpaper than used for domestic paper towels. The coarser the grain of multiple hurdles to reduce pathogen contamination and reduce theirpaper used, the more e cient the friction e ect will be for organism spread are better than one or two hurdles, and when coupled withremoval, although harsh, nonabsorbent paper towels could discour- glove use and proper handwashing, these steps should minimize theage their use compared to softer paper. Also, hand-operated paper opportunities for pathogens to reach the food being prepared.towel dispensers have their limitations. In a survey of 12 food pro- Food Safety Practices in Retail Deli Departments Tom Bannon, National Sales Manager, Deb Canada deed, customer presence has been reported by food employees to have a positive in uence on their performance of other food safety behaviors such as hand washing. Speci cally, food employees at res- taurants have cited concern about appearing sanitary to customers, particularly in kitchens where they can be seen, as well as awareness of customers watching them to see if they had washed their hands, as factors that promote hand washing. One of the larger problems identi ed by study authors was the fre- quency of contact between gloved hands and potentially contami- nated equipment and utensils prior to touching RTE food. For ex- ample, food employees frequently touched the deli case handle atIn a recent study in the Journal of Food Protection (Vol. 73, No. 10, the stores prior to handling RTE food. Most often, food employees2010, pages 1849–1857), the authors observed 33 employees across touched such non–food contact surfaces prior to slicing deli meatnine retail food stores in the Maryland as they prepared deli meat, and cheese onto gloved hands.cheese, and deli salads, as well as other products such as sandwiches,fried chicken, etc. Their hand hygiene practices were surprising (to Based on the observations in this study, if care had been taken tome at least). limit gloved hand contact with just the wrapper or casing of the RTE products and if the products had always been sliced onto a deli tissueInterestingly, bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat (RTE) foods was on the hand, for example, the number of inappropriate hand contactnot observed at any time during the study. This lack of bare-hand points would have decreased by up to 86%. Another potential mea-contact with RTE food is in contrast to other research that has found sure is to have ensured that the objects and/or surfaces that foodextensive bare-hand contact with RTE food by restaurant employees employees handled prior to touching RTE food were clean and sani-in other states. One possibility is that since the deli preparation ar- tized. Such risk mitigation measures should be further developedeas were often in plain view, food employees may have perceived and tested in order to identify the most e ective method to improvean increased pressure from customers to wear gloves at all times. In- hand hygiene compliance during food preparation. 3
  4. 4. Deb Skin Care Products at a GlanceThe Deb Global Range Product Range is now available and has been carefully devised to meet the specific skin safety needs and culturaldiversity of your organization. Our food skin safety regimen combines products that may be used in food processing establishments withsupport activities intended to improve hand hygiene compliance. Please use the product applications chart below to identify the idealproduct and contact us for any additional information. Location Contamination Skin Condition CFIA Yes Pending Adhesives Product may be used in Food Dry & Damaged Skin Germs & Bacteria Application in Process Drilling Mud Inks & Dyes Foodstu s, Oils & Fats Medical Rooms & Laboratories Alkyd & Acrylic Based Paints Normal Skin General Dirt & Grime Oil & Water Based Paints Synthetic & Petroleum Tar & Bitumen Resins & Sealants UV-A & UV-B rays Of ce/Commercial/Leisure General Hygiene Lacquers & Varnishes Food Industry & Catering Heavy Industrial General & Light Industrial Outdoor Based Oil & Greases Processing Establishments PRODUCT Deb® Universal PROTECT Deb® Sun PROTECT Deb® Pure WASH Deb® Lotion WASH Deb® Hair & Body WASH Deb® Lime WASH Deb® Citrus POWER WASH Deb® Sun ower WASH Deb® Natural POWER WASH Deb® Ultra WASH Deb® Universal WIPES Deb® Ultra WIPES Debonaire ® Anti-Bacterial Foam (Unscented) Debonaire ®Anti-Bacterial Foam Florafree ® Anti-Bacterial Gel Skin Cleanser Deb® Clear FOAM WASH Deb® Azure FOAM WASH Deb® Rose FOAM WASH Deb® InstantFOAM ™ HAND SANITIZER Deb® Pure RESTORE 42 Thompson Road West, PO Box 730, Waterford, Ontario CANADA NOE 1YO Tel: 519 443 8697 Toll Free: 1-888-332-7627 Fax: 519 443 5160 Toll Free 1-800-567-1652 • Email: debcanada@debcanada.com • www.debgroup.com 4