Food Safety and Surface Sanitation Tips

Food Safety and Surface Sanitation Tips

Basic Food Safety Tips: 5 Minute Crash Course

Food Handling Safety. Maintaining a safe and clean work environment is critical in preventing foodborne illness. Bacteria and other harmful elements can grow on dirty surfaces and contaminate food.

 

A work area that looks clean should not be considered a sanitized environment. As a food handler or restaurant owner, make sure that your food handling meets sanitation standards. And that you are delivering safe-to-eat food to customers.

Food can become contaminated at any stage during preparation, distribution, and production. Every individual along the production chain should be equipped and trained in food safety. Unfortunately, most of the food handling facilities (such as restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, institutional cafeteria, etc.) do not give due attention to sanitation. This is why a great majority of people experience foodborne diseases.

Why is food safety important?

According to World Health Organization, more than 200 diseases spread through food. This fact highlights the importance of making sure the food we consume is not contaminated. Such contaminated can be harmful chemicals toxins, parasites, viruses, and bacteria. To improve the situation, WHO built the Five Keys to safer food. This helps countries promote safe food handling practices and procedures. And educates people associated with the food industry.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million Americans fall prey to foodborne illness annually. Restaurants and other places  food is processed or handled have an obligation to ensure consumers are protected against foodborne health issues. It can take only one incident to tarnish your brand.

Food safety tips and basics

There are 4 basic principles of food safety: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Use food service wipes to clean anything that comes into contact with food, or is a food contact surface. Separate raw meat and seafood from cooked items to prevent cross-contamination. Preparing various food items, such as meat and poultry, at an optimal temperature also helps to kill pathogens. Besides that, refrigerate food promptly.

Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray
Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray

How to improve food safety

How can you establish food-safety practices without spending too much money and time? The following are some of precautionary measures  you can consider and put in place for enhanced food safety:

  • Reduce the risk of non-compliance from workers throughout the food handling system.
  • Simplify sanitation practices by adopting easy-to-use sanitizing food equipment.
  • Proper food handling and sanitation (consistent cleaning of food contact surfaces with all-encompassing products such as quat disinfectant cleaners)
  • Dry hands with a clean towel, disposable paper towel or food service wipes
  • Instruct your workers to wear and change disposable food gloves frequently
  • Ensure supply chain compliance with recommended food-safety practices.
  • Always use recommended and approved products to ensure food contact surface sanitation.

Polyethylene Food Service and Handling GlovesPolyethylene Food Service and Handling Gloves

DuraSkin Blue Vinyl Gloves, Powder-Free
DuraSkin Blue Vinyl Gloves, Powder-Free

Personal hygiene and affordable solutions

Apart from training  programs, provide employees with enough facilities and sanitation products to improve your sanitary conditions. Food service wipes, for example, are an inexpensive and valuable sanitation item.

Help your staff improve hygiene without doing anything complex or difficult. Use polyester towels made to ensure food contact surface sanitation. Get food service towels, Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaners, and other proven food safety products in bulk. Better prepare your facility to meet sanitation requirements.

Chix Medium-Duty Foodservice Towels with Microban
Chix Medium-Duty Foodservice Towels with Microban

Personal hygiene is especially important for food handlers and food servers. Employees with infected sores or cuts should not be allowed to prepare or serve food.

Employees who have anything to do with food or food contact surfaces must be given training so that they can understand the idea of personal or environmental hygiene. Food handlers are people who manufacture, prepare, process, deliver, transport or serve food. Even people who clean equipment and premises should be aware of sanitation and cleanliness.

Clorox Pro Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaner
Clorox Pro Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaner

The impact of sanitation

The significance of food workplace sanitation goes beyond regulatory actions. Cleaning activities must done in a manner that will not harm workers.

There are some sanitation tasks that require staff to clean potentially dangerous equipment. But, having a proper sanitation apparel and safety gear can improve the productivity of your food business.

Conclusion

Food safety has become a vital global public health issue as consumers suffer from many foodborne diseases. Health concerns from foodborne pathogens make it mandatory for the food industry to take actions to mitigate the situation.

Regulatory authorities and government agencies worldwide are putting their efforts to enhance food safety so that no one suffers following the consumption of food items.

Start improving food sanitation conditions at your facility. Provide employees with simple and affordable solutions. Use food service wipes, food gloves, and disinfectant cleaners.

Keep your restaurant’s reputation intact and keep customers coming back. Put in place recommended food safety practices and stock approved food handling products. Prepare your employees to both prevent and react to food safety issues.

About us

Get a broad range of high-quality and cost-effective food sanitation wipes, food gloves, and other food service products. Keep your restaurant’s reputation intact and reduce the spread of foodborne illnesses.

Practice good food safety habits. Improve the quality of your food handling processes, and ensure customer satisfaction. Browse through our food safety products to find what suits your business. Or get in touch via phone or online chat.

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The 5 OSHA Workplace Hazards

Under the right circumstances, virtually anything could become hazardous in the workplace. With sensible employee behavior and workplace conditions, however, the workplace hazards that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warn against fall into just five main categories. We’ll review them below, and provide suggestions for mitigating dangers for each.

#1: Safety Hazards

(slips, trips and falls, faulty
equipment, etc.)

Safety risks refer to the conditions or substances found in the work environment which can pose danger of injuries. From falling objects to wet floors, these seemingly innocuous everyday risks have the potential to cause serious bodily harm. To minimize these hazards, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Never leave machinery unattended while in use
  2. Practice safety while working from heights
  3. Mandate the use of safety gear and safety apparel, like hardhats, and safety glasses
  4. Have your electrical wiring inspected regularly
  5. Provide the proper signage (like wet floor signs) to notify employees of spills, and clean them up promptly

Safety Hazards include:

  • Spills on floors or tripping hazards,
    such as blocked aisles or cords
    running across the floor
  • Working from heights, including
    ladders, scaffolds, roofs, or any
    raised work area
  • Unguarded machinery and moving
    machinery parts; guards removed or
    moving parts that a worker can
    accidentally touch
  • Electrical hazards like frayed cords,
    missing ground pins, improper
    wiring
  • Confined spaces
  • Machinery-related hazards
    (lockout/tagout, boiler safety,
    forklifts, etc.)

#2: Biological Hazards

(mold, insects/pests,
communicable diseases, etc.)

These types of hazards tend to be exclusive to specific work environments. Particularly, anyone who works with infectious plants, people, or animals may be regularly exposed to biological hazards. Examples of occupations could include laboratory workers, daycare assistants, and personnel in hospitals, doctor’s offices, or nursing homes.

Coming into contact with substances like blood and other bodily fluids, animal droppings, bacteria and viruses, or fungi can put an individual at risk of becoming ill. To minimize these risks, it’s essential that you establish a protocol for handling biohazards and potentially infectious material. Additionally, make sure necessary supplies like disposable gloves are easily accessible. Sorbents can be used to clean up bio-hazards.  These powerful granules absorb the liquid, making them easy to clean-up.

Types of things you may be exposed to
include:

  • Blood and other body fluids
  • Fungi/mold
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Plants
  • Insect bites
  • Animal and bird droppings

#3: Physical Hazards

(noise, temperature extremes,
radiation, etc.)

Physical hazards are environmental factors which can cause injury without direct contact. For instance, radiation, temperature extremes, consistent loudness, and prolonged exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet rays all fall into this category. These are commonly considered the most difficult to detect, because signs don’t always present themselves right away.Like the other hazards listed here, reducing your employees’ risk of being exposed to physical hazards comes down to providing protection.

Hearing protection, for instance, should be considered mandatory for any individuals working around loud machinery. In settings where MEFs and microwaves are routinely emitted, employers must develop practices their teams can follow to limit exposure.

Physical Hazards include:

  • Radiation: including ionizing, nonionizing
    (EMF’s, microwaves,
    radiowaves, etc.)
  • High exposure to sunlight/ultraviolet
    rays
  • Temperature extremes – hot and cold
  • Constant loud noise

#4: Ergonomic Hazards

(repetition, lifting, awkward
postures, etc.)

Like physical hazards, ergonomic hazards may develop over time. Back strain and similar musculoskeletal disorders are often attributed to repetitive workplace motions. Even individuals who work desk jobs aren’t immune to suffering from back pain.

To combat ergonomic hazards, employers can offer training from specialists to help employees understand the importance of proper lifting techniques and posture. More and more employers are also exploring standing desk options to prevent associates from experiencing health complications associated with prolonged sitting.

Ergonomic Hazards include:

  • Improperly adjusted workstations and
    chairs
  • Frequent lifting
  • Poor posture
  • Awkward movements, especially if
    they are repetitive
  • Repeating the same movements over
    and over
  • Having to use too much force,
    especially if you have to do it
    frequently
  • Vibration

#5: Chemical/Dust Hazards

(cleaning products, pesticides,
asbestos, etc.)

Some chemicals are naturally more potent than others. While certain types are only dangerous when ingested or a person comes into direct contact with them, others are dangerous when simply inhaled. If your workforce uses chemicals regularly, you can keep employees safe by:

  1. Clearly labeling all chemicals
  2. Developing a protocol for handling chemicals
  3. Providing employees with the proper safety gear (respirators and gloves, for instance) to wear while in the presence of chemicals

Beware of:

  • Liquids like cleaning products, paints,
    acids, solvents – ESPECIALLY if
    chemicals are in an unlabeled
    container!
  • Vapors and fumes that come from
    welding or exposure to solvents
  • Gases like acetylene, propane, carbon
    monoxide and helium
  • Flammable materials like gasoline,
    solvents, and explosive chemicals.
  • Pesticides

 

No matter which types of hazards your workplace has, Harmony Business Supplies has all of the safety gear and products your team needs to stay healthy and injury-free. Browse through their supplies online now, or contact a product specialist to learn more.

Disposable Gloves 101

Disposable Gloves 101

The Gist on Disposable Gloves

Disposable gloves keep your hands and environment safe from contaminants, chemicals, and other dangers. Disposable gloves are used for hand protection in medical, forensic, scientific, automotive, food service, cleaning, and industrial applications. Single-use gloves come in a variety of materials and are used in industries worldwide.

Uses for Disposable Gloves

Medical Gloves

Disposable gloves are used in medical examinations and procedures to create a safety barrier that helps to prevent cross-contamination. This keeps medical personnel /caregivers and patients safe. Un-powdered gloves (which are covered below) are used more often during surgery to prevent contaminates. Medical and examination gloves are usually of higher quality materials and thickness to prevent tearing and punctures during procedures.

Food Gloves

If you’re handling or preparing food, disposable food gloves are a necessity. Food gloves ensure your food and employees stay clean and sanitary and provide a barrier against germs. Single-use food gloves are conveniently disposable so you can just throw them away after use. Latex-alternative disposable gloves (such as nitrile or vinyl) or often used in food handling due to possible latex allergies.  The most popular food handling glove is made from Polyethylene. These low cost gloves are perfect when you need to change gloves often and need light protection.

General Purpose Disposable Gloves

General Purpose Disposable Gloves are just that. Used in many industries and shops to keep hands clean and protect against chemicals and more. General purpose disposable gloves are available in latex, nitrile, chloroprene, and vinyl. Each material has unique features (covered below). Use general purpose disposable gloves for light duty cleaning, painting, maintenance work and more.

Disposable Glove Materials

Latex Gloves

Durable latex gloves are great for a variety of uses across medical and industrial applications. Latex gloves come in a variety of sizes, with powdered and powder-free options. Powder helps with easy donning of the gloves.

Latex gloves are more elastic than nitrile and more puncture resistance than vinyl. Latex gloves naturally offer excellent chemical resistance.  Using latex gloves is not recommended if you have a latex allergy.

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile is a synthetic version of latex. Nitrile disposable gloves have higher puncture and chemical resistance than other materials. Nitrile offers great protection against punctures, cuts, and snags. Nitrile gloves are often used in medical applications and procedures for these reasons.

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl disposable gloves are a good alternative for those allergic to latex gloves or dislike other types of gloves. Great for single-use applications.  Exam Grade Vinyl Gloves are ideal for protection in a wide range of medical applications. Food Service Vinyl Gloves are often used in catering, food handling, and food prep. Vinyl gloves are available with or without powder for easier donning.

Polyethylene Gloves

The lowest cost and least protective type of disposable gloves are polyethylene gloves. These are ideal however for food handling, catering, and other food industry related applications. Polyethylene single use gloves keep your hands clean and offer basic contamination protection.

Do You Need Sterile Disposable Gloves?

Medical and Exam Disposable Gloves are available in sterile options. Sterile gloves are also used in cleanrooms and controlled environments. If you are doing work where any possible type of contamination is a worry, opt for sterile gloves. Sterile gloves are sterilized and come in sealed packaging to maintain freshness and sterility.

Powdered Disposable Gloves

Disposable gloves are made of different polymers including latex, nitrile, and vinyl. They come un-powdered, or powdered to lubricate the gloves, making them easier to put on the hands. Again, if contaminates are a concern, opt for powder-free disposable gloves. However, for other applications, powder makes the gloves much easier to wear and change out.

If you have any questions or can’t quite decide what type of glove you, please give us a call and we’ll be glad to assist you in your selection!