Is PPE essential within the Food Servicing Industry?
In the food service or manufacturing industry, they prepare, pack, transport, and sell meals, drinks, and other food products for restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, bars, grocery stores and other institutions. Therefore, owners or managers should not take PPE for food service lightly if they want their business to meet hygiene standards and thrive.
When manufacturing or producing food for the end consumer, businesses want it to be in its ultimate hygienic form. Hence, PPE for food service comes into action by creating an added layer of protection to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. When employees utilize top-notch quality PPE, companies handling food are less likely to experience contamination in their products through parasites, bacteria, dust, mould, and other human-related debris.
Owners and managers should not take food contamination lightly. Legal risks are imposed if a consumer goes through food contamination by your business’s product. In addition, the risks involved are contracting severe illnesses such as salmonella, E. coli, and hepatitis A, making that a public health concern.
As a business owner, you would know that your employees are always at risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals. Toxic materials such as Ammonia from cooling systems, disinfectants and other food chemicals commonly found in food processing warehouses endanger the health of individuals who come into contact with them.
Workers who face that risk of contamination should have mandatory measures taken to wear the necessary PPE equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, face shields, and overalls, for added protection from exposure to harmful chemicals.
It will not be taken lightly if a restaurant or food service producer is brought to light to be negligent regarding food safety preparation. It may lead to a penalty being enforced, which could lead to the closure of an establishment.
How can you prevent that from occurring? By ensuring that adequate PPE protection is provided to your employees. Preventing cross-contamination is a priority for all within the food servicing and manufacturing industry.
Types of PPE in the Food Service Industry
The type of personal protective equipment (PPE) recommended for use in the PPE food service industry is determined by the nature of the business, the work environment, and the employees.
An employer must conduct a safety audit to determine the required PPE type. The equipment given must be able to fit the wearer properly, or it may pose a safety hazard. For example, having an apron on the large side for the wearer can pose a risk by hooking onto equipment and causing an injury to the employee.
Let’s take a look at the available PPE food service equipment below:
They are necessary when handling food. You want your employees to avoid touching the ingredients or food with their bare hands as it can contribute significantly to spreading various pathogens. Hence employees should wear food-grade safety gloves for protection within the industry.
#2 Face Masks (Disposable)
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, disposable face masks have become a norm daily, especially within the food servicing industry. This range of face masks does not protect you against inhaling pathogens but is a protective barrier in preventing large droplets from entering or exiting the mouth. With that, it prevents the food from being contaminated with human-based bacteria.
#3 Face Shields
They prevent pathogens from spreading through large respiratory droplets in restaurants, kitchens, and food processing plants. Doing so prevents food from becoming contaminated by pathogens while being prepared, packaged, or served.
#4 Respirator Grade Masks
N95 masks, for example, protect the wearer from inhaling contaminated air. In addition, they protect workers in food manufacturing facilities who may be exposed to harmful airborne pollutants.