I read some disturbing information about hand washing recently. From various surveys among the general public in the UK, it transpires that 31% of men and 17% of women did not wash their hands after using the toilet. 58% of those that did wash their hands used water without soap. 26% of men and 17% of women do not wash their hands before preparing food.
Wearing gloves can lead to a false sense of security. A further survey showed that with vinyl gloves, 34% allowed bacteria to penetrate and 53% failed in use. With latex gloves, 20% allowed bacteria to penetrate and 3% failed in use.
This highlights the importance of hygiene training for new recruits in the bottling plant. Make sure that hand washing facilities are well placed and in good working order, with provision of soap and means to dry the hands.
Bactericidal hand soap is recommended for washing followed by alcoholic gel for hand disinfection. These should be dispensed from hands-free dispensers. A thorough hand-washing regime is essential whether or not gloves are used. New glove materials are available which combine the flexibility of latex with the strength of nitrile.
To avoid any transfer of bacteria from touched surfaces, long-lasting disinfectant sprays are available which may be applied to door handles, plastic curtains and surfaces in toilet areas.