Many Factors Are Crucial to Hygiene in The Food Industry
In no situation are the virtues of cleanliness more important than when applied to the food industry. Most South Africans enjoy eating out and many like to do so on a regular basis. However, we might be far less inclined to dine in restaurants and bistros if there were a risk we might become the victim of some modern-day “Typhoid Mary”. Fortunately, there are strict standards of hygiene that apply to those responsible for preparing food and every effort is made by independent inspectors to ensure they are enforced.
Almost all of the food we consume today has been subjected to some form of processing, even if it is only rinsing and packaging of salad leaves. Any form of processing involves handling by humans and/or machines and, with it, the risk of contamination. It may occur as a result of contact with equipment or work surfaces or could be transferred from a worker’s hands or clothing. Only by paying exceptional attention to hygiene is it possible to prevent this type of occurrence.
While those responsible for producing processed foods augment their routine preventative measures with a programme of quality-control testing designed to detect any chance contamination, the staff of a restaurant or hotel kitchen have no time for anything beyond a visual inspection before delivering meals to their patrons. It is, therefore, vital that their preventative measures are efficient. In practice, that means hygiene in their kitchens is crucial. For such purposes, there is now a huge range of cleaning equipment and chemicals on the market.
It is not only in the operating theatre that regular cleaning of contaminated surfaces is essential to prevent infection and, potentially, to save lives. Such measures are equally important on the work surface in commercial kitchens to prevent cross-contamination and the build-up of chemical residues, either of which could cause serious illness. However, to achieve the highest levels of hygiene attainable requires the use of professional cleaning equipment and materials purpose-designed by specialists, not items purchased from a local supermarket.
While filters are important in drainage systems for accidental spillages, the need for items such as brushes, brooms, squeegees and buckets is equally important. These must be robust, effective, and designed for easy cleaning. Wash-down equipment like water guns and hoses can be a great way to clean work surfaces and large areas such as tiled or concrete floors as part of a restaurateur’s or food producer’s hygiene protocol assuming, of course, that the drainage system is adequate.
The serious outbreak of listeriosis that began in late 2017, infecting over a thousand people and claiming 216 lives, was a reminder that accidents can happen and although its source turned out to be a factory involved in the production of polony, restaurant food could pose a similar danger as a result of contamination in the kitchen.
Offering everything from drainage systems, automated taps, and hand dryers, to buckets, mops, brooms, and disinfectants, to name just a few, Pescatech is South Africa’s leading importer and supplier of world-class hygiene solutions for use within the food and beverage industry.