Hand health is an often-overlooked aspect of hand hygiene. People think that a simple hand wash eliminates all pathogens that can pose a risk to food safety. The truth of the matter is that unhealthy hands such as dry, cracked, or chapped. hands are more prone to accumulating harmful pathogen buildup which can make hand washing less effective for the afflicted person. That is why hand health must be a part of food safety conversations in the workplace.
Resident Pathogens and Hand Health
Our skin contains up to 1,000 different species of bacteria at any given moment. Luckily, larger portions of these are helpful and they are known as microbiota. They compete with the harmful pathogens for nutrients on our skin and helpt to limit the growth of those harmful pathogens. They also help to trigger immune system responses when there is a wound on our skin to fight off those harmful bacteria.
The symbiotic relationships between humans and microorganisms ensures the benefit of both parties in maintaining overall health for each other. That is why it is of utmost importance that we as humans do not try to kill these helpful microbiotas with hand sanitizer since this can lead to the overgrowth of the harmful pathogens.
How Hand Health Can Affect Food Safety
Frequent hand washing is required to ensure a safe environment for food handling. Unfortunately, frequent hand washing can dehydrate hands very easily. Even employing the use of hand sanitizer stations can have negative effects since they are high in alcohol content that expedites hand dehydration.
Dehydrated hands represent a threat to overall hand health since hand skin that is overly dry or damaged is not an environment that is ideal for helpful resident microbiota. It is important that after employees are washing their hands, they are moisturizing the skin to maintain an adequate level of good microbiota. This will keep the risk of spreading harmful pathogens around the facility at a minimum.
Automated Hygiene is the Best at Maintaining Hand Health
CleanTech® Automated Handwashing Stations have revolutionized how food processing facilities handle hygiene. On top of only removing harmful pathogens in only 12 seconds, our stations use a hand washing solution called UltraPure that safeguards hand health because it contains synthetic lanolin which keeps hands soft and hydrated. Many leaders in the food industry have noted that hand hygiene compliance among their employees has skyrocketed since the adoption of CleanTech® automated hygiene. That means healthy and clean hands are packing and processing food for consumption across the globe.