A new report by the European Food Safety Authority has found that foodborne illnesses are on the rise in the EU with E.coli up by 5.9 per cent and listeria 8.6 per cent. As we approach the food inspector’s season, food operators must ensure hygiene levels are at exemplary levels.

Manty Stanley, managing director at TEAL – a leading UK manufacturer of portable hand-wash units – explains the importance of food operators hand hygiene and why portable hand wash units are the future for mobile food operators.

A legal requirement

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health states that where high risk foods are handled and prepared, alcohol based hand sanitisers must only be used as a supplement to a fully equipped hand wash basin in food outlets.

The Institute also cites that a mobile food operator shouldn’t trade unless they can demonstrate hand wash facilities are readily and safely available, but it is not always logistically possible.

This is why portable hand washing units are the ideal solution – they provide the same hygienic hand wash as plumbed-in sinks.

But it is not just about operating within the law – by providing portable hand wash units to staff and where necessary to customers, it shows that you care about the standard of the food you serve and customer welfare – which is essential when considering reputation is built solely on customer satisfaction.

The problem

Every year, up to four and a half million people in the UK suffer from food poisoning caused by invisible microbes, therefore where high risk foods such as raw meat are in use, washing hands in hot running water with soap is the only solution.

In 2013, the Health Protection Agency suggested that food, chopping boards and cleaning cloths from mobile and outdoor food vendors could be contaminated with a range of bacteria, including E-Coli – highlighting why hand hygiene should not be ignored

Safeguarding customers against bacteria is a top priority. Due to the high risk of cross-contamination through the handling of different produce, customers are left in a vulnerable situation as germs have sufficient opportunities to multiply and spread.

Gold standard of hand hygiene

The only way to prevent the spread of dangerous foodborne illnesses is through the gold standard of hand hygiene – washing hands thoroughly with soap under hot running water. Alcohol rubs are not intensive enough and have been proven to be not as hygienic as the traditional method of hand washing.

Mobile catering has a poor reputation when it comes to hygiene, but by having accessibility to good hand wash facilities, caterer’s food hygiene ratings can be significantly increased.

The solution

TEAL Patents has been working with mobile and outdoor food operators for over 15 years to provide hand washing solutions whenever and wherever necessary. Designed to prevent unnecessary suffering, TEALprovide a range of portable hot water hand wash units which do not require access to mains water or drainage.

Article Source: StreetZine, 17 March 2015.

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