A case study of food handler hand hygiene compliance in high-care and high-risk food manufacturing environments using covert-observation
Evans, Ellen W.
Samuel, Emma J.
Taylor & Francis
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Observation of behaviour is superior to cognitive data, which does not equate to behaviour. Covert-observation is seldom used in food manufacturing to assess behaviour. In this case study, closed-circuit-television footage (15h) in a business were reviewed to assess hand hygiene compliance using an electronic-checklist. Hand hygiene attempts were observed prior to entering high-risk (cake/pie)(n=47) and high-care (sandwich/salad)(n=153) production areas. Business hand hygiene protocol required handwashing durations ≥20s. Observed durations ranged 1–71s, <96% of attempts were <20s. Significantly longer durations were observed when food handlers were in the presence of others (12s) than when alone (9s). Although <99% utilised soap, only 56–69% wetted hands first. Failure to rub all parts of hands was commonplace (<87%) and 24–35% failed to apply sanitiser after drying. Consequently, >98% of observed attempts before entering production areas did not comply with the protocol. Observed non-compliant practices may have implications for food safety in manufacturing.
International Journal Of Environmental Health;
Evans, E.W., Samuel, E.J. and Redmond, E.C. (2020) 'A case study of food handler hand hygiene compliance in high-care and high-risk food manufacturing environments using covert-observation', International Journal Of Environmental Health.
Article published in International Journal Of Environmental Health on 07 July 2020, available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09603123.2020.1791317.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
This work was supported by the Research & Enterprise Services at Cardiff Metropolitan University [Accelerator Fund].
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