Sustainable Hand Hygiene

Although food safety will be a priority, businesses serving food face many other regulatory and market-driven pressures, not least to adopt processes that are more sustainable. Choosing the right kitchen hygiene products can contribute to both areas.

Food safety is always critical. The majority of food-related illnesses are caused by bacteria. According to the Food Standards Agency, campylobacter causes the most cases – over 250,000 a year – of food poisoning in the UK with E.coli and salmonella also affecting large numbers. Each of these causes unnecessary suffering as well as disruption and loss of reputation to any business whose staff or customers become ill. Listeria monocytogenes causes the most food poisoning deaths although the numbers are very small. Around 40% of all food poisoning outbreaks are the result of poor hand hygiene and cross contamination.

The average person’s hands can carry more than 3000 different types of bacteria and about 100,000 can live on each square centimetre of skin. Many of these are completely harmless but just a few of the wrong type can quickly lead to illness. One bacterium can multiply to over four million in eight hours, so it is clear that keeping hands clean is critical to preventing the spread of infections.

We have known this for a long time and all learn as children to wash our hands before eating and after going to the toilet. Despite this it seems many people continue to ignore this most basic act of personal hygiene.

Hand hygiene products for food service need to be effective yet gentle because they will be used frequently during the day. Modern formulations incorporate highly effective biocidal ingredients as well as emollients that help preserve the skin’s natural protective barrier and keep hands soft. They should not include perfumes to avoid tainting food. Leading suppliers offer a choice and are able to recommend the best option for any particular setting.

Another key issue facing food service businesses is to make their operations more sustainable by using less water, energy and cleaning products. There are lots of ways of doing this without compromising the quality of the food or the safety of customers and staff. Replacing conventional cleaning warewashing and laundry products with innovative formulations that are effective at lower temperatures can be a simple first step.

A further option is to replace ready-to-use or traditional bulk products with ultra-concentrates. Used with simple and convenient wall-mounted or portable dosing and dilution control equipment, ultra concentrates support sustainability by enabling safe, simple and consistent high-performance cleaning while minimising wastage, packaging and chemical miles. Products available as ultra-concentrates cover all key kitchen hygiene tasks including hand hygiene.

Recently, cleaning product suppliers have devised novel formulations that utilise environmentally-friendly ingredients to provide further choices to customers who want to demonstrate the highest levels of environmental responsibility. These are typically derived from plant-based renewable resources such as by-products originating from sugar beet, maize and other common foodstuffs. When products like these are available in ultra-concentrate formulations they provide an additional sustainability benefit.

Simplifying Floorcare Decisions in Healthcare

Innovations in flooring – for practical and cosmetic reasons – continue to widen the choice of materials and finishes available. This makes the correct specification and use of floorcare products and equipment more complex because there is more to consider. Mistakes can damage the floor and be difficult and costly to correct. In many cases the solution is to use a scrubber drier or rotary disc machine in conjunction with a particular pad or brush and, usually but not always, cleaning product.

In general, innovative synthetic flooring is now more widely used than wood and other traditional materials. This has led to a move from laborious stripping, polishing and buffing to more efficient machine cleaning and maintaining. Diversey offers pads and brushes for almost every type of flooring and will be able to advise on the right one to use with any machine from its advanced TASKI range in any given application. The right combination will achieve the best possible results, economy and sustainability.

In healthcare, for example, there is a clear trend towards vinyl floors with a thin wear layer that requires no polish and hence has no shine. These floors have a sheen finish and are perceived to present reduced risk of slips, still one of the major causes of accidents and injuries in workplaces, especially to vulnerable patients such as those suffering from dementia. They are also generally easier to maintain because they require no intermittent stripping and sealing.

Floors with wear layers can normally be cleaned using innovative floorcare pads such as Twister by Diversey. This innovative set of colour-coded floor care pads is made from recycled plastics impregnated with billions of microscopic diamonds on the working side. They are ideally used with Diversey’s advanced TASKI swingo scrubber driers or rotary-disc machines and water alone to deliver excellent results while making floor care operations more sustainable. The range includes pads for almost every type of hard floor, manufactured by changing the size and combination of the microscopic diamonds. The pads are less abrasive than corresponding conventional alternatives which helps to protect the floor while giving a smoother and improved appearance. The resulting micro-polished floor is also more resistant to soiling.

Also in healthcare, there is an ongoing use of products containing chlorine as the active ingredient as part of infection prevention efforts. These products can cause long-term degradation of the floor if not used correctly. One way to alleviate such concerns is to use a scrubber drier with effective dilution control and which always applies the correct amount of solution to the floor and then removes it to leave the floor dry and ready to use. These are the key attributes of TASKI scrubber driers equipped with the IntelliDose dilution and IntelliFlow solution control systems.

In commercial settings, Diversey has seen increased use of floors woven from vinyl and other materials that have a textured surface. Conventional rotary pads and discs are less effective on these floors because they cannot reach into the recesses on the undulating surface. In these cases, a scrubber drier equipped with a cylindrical brush will be more effective.

The variety of floor type and the choice of equipment and products can present a bewildering set of choices. Nevertheless, by taking advice from suppliers such as Diversey, cleaning teams can introduce cleaning processes that improve results while being effective, productive and sustainable.

Floorcare is one of application areas we’re highlighting at the forthcoming HCA Forum (11-12 April, Celtic Manor, South Wales).

Kitchen Hygiene In Hospitals

In a previous post, we outlined the significance of hand hygiene and surface disinfection for kitchen hygiene and food safety in hospitals and care homes. Anything that can break the chain that allows infections to spread by personal contact or touching a contaminated surface will reduce the risk of outbreaks of food-related illnesses.

Our kitchen hygiene products include sanitisers and cleaners for all common surfaces found in kitchens and dining areas. Suma Bac D10, for example, is a general purpose cleaner-sanitiser for a wide range of tasks including hand dishwashing and cleaning worktops or floors. It is highly effective against a broad range of infections (pathogens) found in food service settings. Suma D2.3 is an ideal multipurpose cleaner for non-food preparation areas including floors, walls, doors, ceilings and general equipment. It cuts through grease and dried-on food soiling and leaves a sparkling clean surface.

Like many products in our Suma kitchen hygiene range, Suma Bac D10 and Suma D2.3 can be supplied as ultra-concentrates to promote sustainability, simplicity and lower overall cost in use.

With our popular Divermite system, products are supplied in sealed pouches that are placed in a wall-mounted dispenser for simplicity and convenience. Users can dose a fixed amount of product into a sink, spray bottle or bucket at the push of a button for consistent preparation of cleaning solutions with no wastage.

Our SmartDose system represents an ideal way to introduce ultra concentrates into any cleaning operation. Its compact pack size makes it easy to carry and there is no need for a connection to a water supply. The innovative cap design allows users to dispense an accurate amount of product in two different volumes, chosen by twisting the cap to one side or the other. This two-in-one dosing simplicity enables the consistent preparation of solutions in spray bottles, sinks, buckets or cleaning machines.

We also offer a complete range of dishwashing products for hand washing and all major types of dishwashing machine. These include Suma Combi+, a unique formulation for mechanical dishwashers that contains detergent and rinse-aid in a single product. This helps to simplify processes and promote consistent results.

Suma Nova is a concentrated liquid detergent for mechanical warewashing. It provides excellent soil removal in hard water conditions. Suma Rinse is a proven rinse-aid that helps washed items dry quickly and with a spot and streak-free finish.

All of these products can be supplied in a choice of container types and size – including five-litre concentrates – for use with auto-dosing equipment. 

We have recently reduced the price of many of our dishwashing products, including Suma Nova and Suma Rinse, to make them even more cost-effective and value for money than ever before.

We’ll be highlighting these and many other products from our extensive kitchen hygiene ranges at the forthcoming HCA Forum at the Celtic Manor on 11-12 April.

Hand Hygiene for Hospital Caterers

Around 40% of all food poisoning outbreaks are the result of poor hand hygiene and cross contamination. Most food-related illnesses are caused by bacteria: according to the Food Standards Agency, campylobacter causes over 250,000 cases of food poisoning in the UK each year. E.coli and salmonella also affect large numbers.

Hospital patients and care home residents can be particularly vulnerable to any outbreak of food-borne illness that would be little more than inconvenient to otherwise fit and healthy people. Hospital and care home catering staff therefore need to be extra vigilant.

Food can be contaminated from direct touching or placing items on infected surfaces. Kitchen staff can become infected by personal contact or touching a contaminated surface. Poor hand hygiene can also cause issues with equipment such as ice machines, beverage equipment and water dispensers if staff operate them with dirty hands.

This is why personal hygiene and surface sanitising are both so important in any health-related food service operation. Mistakes that lead to illness can cause suffering to patients, residents and staff while also disrupting the operation and diminishing its reputation. In the worst cases, this can lead to poor statutory food hygiene ratings and even temporary or permanent closure.

Food service staff should wash their hands between tasks, including when switching between handling raw and cooked items. That can mean a lot of washing during a normal day. Conventional soaps can strip natural oils which protect the skin, leading to an increased risk of damage through conditions such as dermatitis. Hand hygiene products therefore need to be effective yet gentle. Modern formulations incorporate highly effective biocidal ingredients as well as emollients to preserve the skin’s natural protective barrier and keep hands soft. They should not include perfumes to avoid tainting food.

To meet these challenges, Diversey offers the revolutionary IntelliCare hand hygiene system. IntelliCare dispenses globally-trusted hand care formulations in our Soft Care and SURE ranges. These comprise a complete set of soaps, sanitisers and creams meeting a wide range of international infection prevention standards. SURE products demonstrate the highest levels of environmental responsibility with 100% plant-based, 100% biodegradable formulations.

With hand washing the most effective way to prevent the spread of infections, the dispenser helps maintain uninterrupted availability of soaps and foams for maximum hand hygiene compliance. Typically configured for touchless operation, it seamlessly shifts to manual mode if battery power is lost.

Products are supplied in 1.3 litre pouches containing more doses than conventional systems to extend replacement intervals. Standardised pouches for all products enable total flexibility to choose the right formulation. The tamper-proof design utilises less plastics per millilitre of product than alternatives. All materials are fully-recyclable.

IntelliCare is one of the products we’re featuring at the forthcoming HCA Forum (11-12 April, Celtic Manor, South Wales).

We’ve Got Steam Heat

Diversey is offering visitors to the forthcoming HCA Forum (11-12 April, Celtic Manor, South Wales) a chance to win one of its advanced steam cleaning machines. All visitors need to do is call in to our stand for a chance to win.

Using steam for floorcare and other cleaning tasks has become popular in recent years. It offers cleaning teams a different choice that is simple to use and highly effective at removing dirt and grime without using chemicals. Steam also kills bacteria and other microbes that can cause illnesses and infections. Floors generally dry more quickly than with traditional mopping because less water is used on any given area. All of these reasons make steam cleaning a useful option in busy kitchens in hospitals and care homes. 

Diversey offers five steam cleaning machines in conjunction with specialist manufacturer Matrix Cleaning Systems to provide healthcare, food service and building care customers enhanced cleaning, hygiene and infection prevention capabilities in demanding environments. The machines are available exclusively in the UK and Ireland and are offered by Diversey alongside its range of advanced TASKI floorcare equipment.

Steam is highly effective when cleaning many different hard and porous surfaces and is ideal for periodic and deep cleaning where users want to refurbish and transform the appearance of their facilities. Adding these class-leading machines to our floorcare portfolio to complement the unrivalled capabilities of our TASKI floorcare range extends our ability to support our customers with a total solution from a single source.

The range comprises five compact and lightweight models offering different capabilities to meet demand in a variety of applications. The two simplest machines are steam-only with a choice of models delivering 4.5 (Model SO4) or 8 (SO8) bar pressure.

One of the mid-range machines (SD4) incorporates a chemical delivery system to accelerate the removal of ground-in grease and grime. This model can be used with routine and problem-solver products from the extensive Diversey range including formulations to remove chewing gum and mould from tile grout. The other mid-range machine (SV4) incorporates a vacuum pick-up that removes condensate and debris to leave the working area clean and dry. Its 12 litre collection tank can double-up as a wet pick up during emergencies to maximise the machine’s utility and save storage space by avoiding the need for additional equipment.

The top-of-the-range SDV8 model combines high pressure steam, detergent and vacuum functions in a single unit and is ideal for the toughest and most demanding applications.

The machines are designed for simple and easy use and manufactured in the UK by steam cleaning specialist Matrix Cleaning Systems. The operator simply fills the machine, plugs it into a convenient power socket and waits just a few minutes for the water to heat up. A continuous water fill feature allows the machine to be topped up at any time. This promotes safety for the operator and reduces the time spent waiting for steam so that more time is spent on productive working. Generous cable and hose lengths ensure operators can easily access difficult areas to optimise the use of the comprehensive accessory set supplied with each machine.

The use of high quality materials and robust construction promotes machine durability for life-long reliability. The models are Diversey-branded and exclusively finished in the same distinctive orange colour as the company’s TASKI machines.

Steam is proven to work across numerous applications but is especially suitable for healthcare, hospitality, food service and building service contractors. It is ideal for intricate and detailed surfaces such as edges, vertical surfaces and grouting in tiled areas that are difficult to clean with other tools and larger equipment.

It is also suitable for many porous materials, such as bedding and upholstery, where it not only cleans and refreshes but will also kill bacteria and micro-organisms including dust mites. The minimal residue left behind after steam cleaning can be removed using microfibre or a vacuum cleaner. In this way the bacteria will not be able to duplicate and the surface will be instantly and hygienically clean.

Don’t forget, for a chance to win one of Diversey’s steam cleaners you’ll need to visit our stand at the forthcoming HCA Forum at the Celtic Manor on 11-12 April.