Cross-contamination is a dirty word in any situation, but especially so in the food service sector. Anyone who works in the industry should know what it is, but as a refresher, cross-contamination is the movement or transfer of harmful bacteria from one location to another. People, objects, and surfaces can all be affected by or contribute to cross-contamination. This article focuses on good hand hygiene for food service professionals. By utilizing a hands-free handwashing solution, you and your staff can prevent cross-contamination whether you’re in the kitchen or serving off-site.
Advantages of Hands-Free Handwashing
When preparing or serving food, your hands can come into contact with pathogens from a variety of sources ranging from raw meat to unclean surfaces like countertops. If you were to get germs on your hands (knowingly or unknowingly) and then immediately touch food or a utensil that will touch food, you will be cross-contaminating and putting the consumers of that food at risk of contracting a foodborne illness.
For this reason, the National Restaurant Association identifies the implementation of a personal hygiene program and frequent handwashing reminders as two of the primary ways to prevent cross-contamination. The personal hygiene program should include policies that address practices like proper handwashing, hand care, and glove use. Handwashing is especially important for employees after they use the restroom or handle raw meat and seafood.
Sinks, although designed for sanitation, do have flaws that must be considered. Traditional sinks feature handles that must be turned to start the flow of water. But if your hands are dirty, how do you turn the sink on without touching the sink handles with contaminated hands? And then once your hands are washed, you’ve got to find a way to turn off the sink without recontaminating your hands with the cross-contaminated handles.
This problem can be avoided with hands-free sinks, which include traditional sinks equipped with motion-detecting faucets or faucets that start the flow of water with just a touch of the forearm. Many models of portable sinks also offer hands-free operation. In any case, when you go hands-free, you can virtually guarantee that you will be able to complete your handwash without the risk of recontamination because there’s no need to touch the sink with your hands.
Hit the Road with a Portable Sink
If your business is one that requires you to work off-premise often, a portable sink provides peace of mind that employees will have easy access to handwashing that will prevent them putting food at risk. By being equipped with a simple foot pump or similar dispensing device, the sinks offer a high level of sanitation. As an added bonus, portable sinks typically provide everything needed for a good handwash — water (heated in certain models), soap, and paper towels — all self-contained in the unit.
Promote Sanitation with SINKSNMORE
SINKSNMORE has a line of hands-free portable sinks ideal for caterers and the food service industry. To view them, click here. Receive 10% Off on All Online Orders when you use promo code FS2017TB.
Also, when you visit FoodSinksTB.com you can download our Free Health Department Compliance Solutions Bulletin and request a Free Handwashing Compliance Sign to post on or near your portable sink.