PPE in Food Manufacturing Facilities

It’s Time to Fix Your PPE SOP in Food Manufacturing Facilities.

Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports a staggering 600 million cases of foodborne illness worldwide, with 15% to 30% of these incidents attributed to inadequate personal hygiene practices among food handlers. Alarmingly, hand contact alone is estimated to contribute to 89% of cases where food becomes contaminated due to worker handling. These statistics underscore the critical importance of stringent hygiene protocols and effective hand hygiene practices in food handling environments to mitigate the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks and safeguard public health.

Adhering strictly to your facility’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for Food Plant PPE donning is crucial for preventing cross-contamination and minimizing the risk of introducing foodborne pathogens into processing areas. GMPs serve as a cornerstone for ensuring the safety, quality, and integrity of food products throughout the manufacturing process. By integrating GMPs into the PPE donning procedure, your facility can maintain a hygienic environment and uphold regulatory compliance.

Today, we’ll discuss the fundamentals of creating SOPs for PPE donning in alignment with GMPs, highlighting key aspects often overlooked when developing protocols.

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Percentage of Foodborne Illnesses Caused by Poor Hand Hygiene

Key Protocol Gaps

While the standard PPE donning process addresses many contamination risks, there’s a critical step often overlooked in protocol development: the provision of a hand sanitizer station for use before donning gloves.

Failure to adequately sanitize hands before gloving can lead to the accumulation of “glove juice” – a microbial-rich fluid resulting from surface bacteria and sweat within gloves. The warm, moist environment inside gloves provides optimal conditions for bacterial proliferation.

In instances where gloves are punctured or torn, whether by sharp objects or otherwise, this concentrated bacterial solution can be released, posing a significant risk of contaminating food products with foodborne pathogens. This risk is particularly concerning for immunocompromised individuals but remains relevant across all food processing operations.

Furthermore, studies have shown that even intact gloves may be permeable to liquids, underscoring the importance of minimizing bacterial loads within gloves to uphold food safety standards.

Summary of Your SOP's Key Protocol Gaps

  • Hand Sanitization: Provide hand sanitizer stations before donning gloves to minimize the risk of glove contamination.
  • Risk Mitigation: Address potential risks such as “glove juice” accumulation and glove permeability to liquids to prevent foodborne pathogen transmission.
  • Comprehensive Approach: Consider all stages of the PPE donning process to identify and mitigate protocol gaps effectively.

The Role of Hand Sanitizer

To mitigate the risks associated with glove juice and safeguard food production environments, it’s essential to address both bacterial surface contamination and moisture buildup within gloves.

An effective solution is the integration of an E3-rated hand sanitizer, such as our Prepare Hand Sanitizer. This product not only reduces surface bacteria on the skin, lowering the likelihood of pathogen transmission through gloves, but also helps to maintain a dry environment within gloves, inhibiting bacterial growth.

Prepare Hand Sanitizer meets the stringent guidelines set by the World Health Organization for hand hygiene products, ensuring its efficacy in combating foodborne pathogens without compromising skin health.

Summary of the Role of Hand Sanitizer in Food Plant PPE

  • Bacterial Reduction: Use an effective hand sanitizer to reduce surface bacteria on the skin, decreasing the likelihood of pathogen transmission through gloves.
  • Moisture Control: Choose a sanitizer that helps maintain a dry environment within gloves, inhibiting bacterial growth and enhancing food safety.
  • Compliance Assurance: Select a hand sanitizer that meets WHO guidelines for hand hygiene products to ensure efficacy and regulatory compliance.

Need More Help With Your SOPs?

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To discover how Prepare Hand Sanitizer can enhance your food manufacturing facility’s Food Plant PPE donning process in alignment with GMPs and bolster food safety measures, contact your designated food safety representative today. You can reach us toll-free at 1 (800) 424-2436 or fill out the form below.

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