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Effective handwashing is paramount in any food production scenario – for personal health and food safety.  But are you missing a trick during this straightforward task?  In this article, I’ll explore how businesses can further optimise their existing handwashing process to safeguard their assets (brand, reputation, production, staff and customers).

The Why, What, Who, When and Where of Handwashing – a.k.a The 5 W’s

#1. Why? 

According to Public Health England, up to one million cases of food-borne illnesses are reported in the UK each year, hospitalising around 20,000 people and killing around 500.  As these figures are based on public notices issued by the authority they are likely to only represent a small proportion of the true figure.

#2. What? 

It may seem obvious, but you know what happens to those who assume  (the phrase ass out of you and me spring to mind).  So, just to be clear, the what is your hands.  Protection of all surfaces that could make contact with food also needs safeguarding, from your hair, face, shoes, clothing, surfaces etc etc

#3. Who? 

Again, not wanting to be nicknamed Eeyore, that’s everyone (with the exception of no-one) who plays a part in the food processing journey – and not just those who come into direct contact with food.

#4. When?  

As featured in the Food Standards Agency campaign SFBB (Safer food, better business), you should wash your hands;

  1. Before touching or handling any food, especially ready-to-eat food
  2. After going to the toilet
  3. After every break
  4. After touching raw meat, poultry, fish, eggs or unwashed vegetables
  5. After touching a cut or changing a dressing
  6. After touching or emptying bins
  7. After cleaning
  8. After touching phones, light switches, door handles, cash registers and money

When to wash your hands in food production industry

#5. Where? 

Where hands are washed can be just as significant as the actual practice. Handwashing should be limited to certain designated areas called handwashing stations.   And this is where businesses could further optimise an existing process to safeguard their assets even further.

Shoe cleaning can be a common pain point for those in food production.   A critical cleaning process often the victim of human avoidance.  By installing a cleaning solution in an area already designated as a critical area makes sense.  

This human avoidance (or shortcut) solution has been adopted by major brands within the food industry.  ProfilGate, originally designed from the belief that clean production is the pre-requisite for Industry 4.0.    Complete with 11 models plus footwear cleaning machines, the Aqua and Go are most commonly used in the handwash scenario.

ProfilGate aqua

  • Active cleaning and disinfection
  • For highest hygiene requirements
  • Significant reduction in the spreading of germs
  • Outstandingly suitable for entrances into critical areas
  • Energy-less lock function
  • Ensures faster flow of persons and materials

ProfilGate go

  • Stainless-steel grates perfect for high demands on hygiene and resistance against aggressive media
  • Extended bristles ensure intensive cleaning of coarsely profiled shoes
  • Fine-mesh structure of grates make it also suitable for carts and trolleys
 Aqua.jpg  Go.jpg



ProfilGate is also proven to;

  • Reduce refurbishment costs – with 90% of dirt removed, resin floors stay scratch free and clean for longer
  • Improve technical cleanliness – removes 90% of contamination brought into facilities by foot, forklift or tyre
  • Improve Health & Safety  (reduced risk of slip)
  • Reduce cleaning costs – ProfilGate cleans 24/7 mechanically
As used by:

ProfilGate - as used by major food manufacturers

Need to find out more?  DOWNLOAD the brochure.

At Unisan UK, we offer recycling & hygiene to ensure sustainability and continuous improvement. We know people want to do the right thing, so why make it hard. That’s why we provide game-changing solutions that help our customers to think differently about recycling & hygiene at work and ensure it is easy for them to make the right choice.