3.3.5 Boots / clogs
Boots, clogs and similar footwear are also to be seen as protection for both the employee and the food.
Footwear should be light-coloured and easy to clean.
For some tasks steel-tipped and/or lined (refrigerated area) footwear is advisable
3.3.6 Hands / gloves
It takes at least two minutes to wash and disinfect the hands correctly.
1. Wet hands, 2. Take soap from the soap dispenser, 3. Rub in well, 4. Rinse well, 5. Dry well, 6. Take disinfectant from the dispenser, 7. Rub in well until hands are dry.
Hands and/or gloves are of particular significance within the fish industry where so much work is still carried out by hand. The hands or gloves are in constant direct contact with the food. Contamination of the hands/gloves thus inevitably leads to contamination of unpacked foods.
Human skin is very porous and skin cells are shed constantly. The skin also produces sweat constantly and new micro-organisms develop constantly, too. Hand washing therefore serves to remove dirt, dust and sweat, as well as micro-organisms. There are about 10,000,000 germs on an unwashed hand. About 100,000 germs remain after washing and these can multiply. Germs can multiply very quickly, particularly at body temperature,
Hand before washing
Hand after washing and disinfecting
which favours their reproduction. The number of germs on the skin doubles approx. every 20 minutes. Disinfecting the hands after washing reduces the number of germs from approx. 100,000 on a washed hand to approx. 10 germs. But, given time, these 10 germs will multiply, too. That is why it is also necessary to wash and disinfect the hands regularly in between times. This is particularly important if an employee has to carry out different tasks, so that the dirt and germs present are not transmitted from the packaging, for example, to the food.
The only germs which can multiply on a glove are those found on the product or objects with which the glove has come into contact. However, employees wearing gloves often fail to notice dirt on a glove although they would probably have noticed it had their hands been bare. Because of this, when working in gloves only one type of task should be carried out to avoid unintentional food contamination.
4. Recreation areas / hygiene zone
After the employees have put on their working clothes in the changing rooms, they have to pass into the plant trough the “hygiene zone”. It is best if this hygiene zone is segregated from the production area. In the case of microbiologically sensitive products such segregation is absolutely necessary.
Employees must wash and disinfect their hands within the hygiene zone or area. It is there that they must also put on their aprons and, if applicable, boots, too. Boots should be cleaned and disinfected prior to entering the production area.
The hygiene zone should preferably be an independent room in order to avoid negative influence on production and protective clothing by moisture, dirt and germs.
A boot washing plant is not absolutely necessary. Boots can also be cleaned and disinfected in a tub.
5. Staff hygiene in the workplace
All production rooms should only be accessible via a hygiene zone. Protective clothing which can come into direct contact with food should be changed within this zone.
Soap and disinfectant dispensers Hand operation
Aprons and gloves, at least, should be changed or hung up/taken off in this zone. Prior to hanging them up/taking them off, they should be cleaned and, where applicable, disinfected.
All items of jewellery, including watches, must be removed prior to starting work, since it is otherwise impossible to wash and disinfect the hands thoroughly as required. An additional hazard: jewellery can get into the products and contaminate them.
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