Mechline urge operators to encourage effective handwashing

Mechline urge operators to encourage effective handwashing with the right equipment on global handwashing day. This global advocacy day, dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing, is this year focused on the link between handwashing and food, and great motivation for improving hygienic practice within the commercial kitchen.

There are clear legal requirements that all food service operations must meet in a working kitchen environment. All commercial kitchens must provide enough hand wash basins for staff to wash their hands and these must serve clean hot and cold running water, ideally mixed to allow comfortable and consistent temperature. But simply having the minimum requirements in place, does not necessarily equate to successful outcomes. With an average of 100,000 bacteria residing on each square centimetre of human skin, and capable of doubling every 15 minutes (WHO), equipment needs to be able to facilitate truly thorough handwashing.

Mechline Developments manufacture hygienic hand solutions for the food service and hospitality industry that make engaging in effective handwashing practice incredibly easy and trouble-free. One way is by reducing the need to touch taps. Hand-free taps and wash basins can maximise user hygiene and food safety, by removing the need for manual contact and preventing the spread of germs by hand. Electronic taps have been revolutionary in improving the hygiene in kitchen environments, and The British Hospitality Association (BHA) insist on ‘a supply of warm water for handwashing at a comfortable temperature through a single tap, which is preferably not hand operated.’ With manual taps, the action of turning a tap on requires touching the tap lever or handle with dirty hands, and then revisiting the same lever or handle with clean hands to turn it off—a rather counterintuitive practice! Eliminating the need to touch taps reduces the potential of this cross contamination.

But not all electronic taps are the same. Most solenoid valves are fitted with a rubber membrane behind which water stagnates and is not renewed. By their very design many leave residual volumes of water that could favour bacteria proliferation. Mechline’s Delabie range of electronic taps include a duty flush programme, whereby an automatic flush activates for approximately 60 seconds every 24 hours after the last use to remove the risk of stagnation. Delabie’s patented technology also operates without a membrane. Instead, their piston operated solenoid valve is drained with every use which reduces bacterial niches, ensuring hand hygiene and food safety.

Mechline also produce a range of hands-free push-front BaSix hand wash basins, which is now available as part of a complete Hygiene System. Mechline’s new hygiene station incorporates the advanced 300-KVS BaSix hands-free push-front wash basin with splashback and hanging waste bin. The basin allows the user to refrain from touching any taps or the sink area with their hands, particularly useful after preparing raw ingredients, thus minimising the possibility of bacteria lurking. And with the additional splashback, walls are protected from the build-up of mildew and mould. The complete system promotes safe hygiene practice within the commercial kitchen.

Mechline’s solutions are designed to be simple and efficient to use, making it easy for good hygiene practice to become second nature, not an inconvenience that risks being ignored. It is paramount, however, that kitchen staff are trained correctly and understand the dangers of cutting corners. Food service operators are legally obligated to correctly train food handlers in hygiene awareness. This includes the correct use of equipment, recommended handwashing practice and reinforcing the importance of handwashing.

Kristian Roberts, Marketing Manager at Mechline, comments, “We cannot stress enough how important regular and effective handwashing is. At Mechline we provide the tools to make it easier for good and safe habits to be easily followed and enforced, but the responsibility lies with business owners to make sure the correct facilities are available and education is provided for each and every member of staff entering or leaving the kitchen.”