In most food processing industries, employees wear uniforms, these uniforms play a very important role and they are not just for shows. They ensure the safety of the products that the employees handle. Without proper uniforms, as well as proper maintenance and cleaning, employees can contaminate the products with harmful pathogens, and it is so easy to spread these microscopic contaminants.
For those who are involved in the manufacture and care of these uniforms, they have to put a lot into consideration to prevent food contamination effectively. This article aims at equipping you with the necessary information you need to know about workplace uniforms, more so in food processing plants. When it comes to food processing uniforms, there are some factors you should put into consideration, such as;
- The type of uniform you need
- How to effectively manage these uniforms
Food safety involves several things but what we will focus on, is the role of HACCP uniforms in promoting a conducive food handling environment; not only that, we will also see how they play an important role in safety.
The HACCP System
Anybody working in a food processing firm must have come across the HACCP system; what does it mean? It simply means Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system; therefore, HACCP is a quality control method widely used to identify and address the problems that may arise in handling food. It is a preventive approach to ensure food safety that you must implement effectively to minimize the cases of food contamination or any other hazards. A HACCP uniform, therefore, aligns with the goals of this system.
HACCP Uniforms Characteristics
HACCP uniforms normally have certain design features, which are as listed below;
- Durable fabric – smocks and flimsy shirts normally wear out after cleaning severally. Therefore, it implies that the fabric can break and contaminate the food, so you should consider using industry-grade materials regarding food-handling uniforms.
- No pockets above the waist – it is very important to have pockets since, at times, they prove to be very useful, but their main disadvantage is that they constantly trap bacteria. That can be a serious problem in a food handling environment because the worker can accidentally transfer the microorganisms to the edibles when preparing them. Pockets can also keep items that can fall into the packaging or food.
- No buttons – you may wonder what the problem with having a button in your coat or shirt is. Like pockets, buttons can also trap bacteria; this is why button-less uniforms are common in food processing firms. Buttons can also fall off your garment and into the packaging or food, contaminating them.
HACCP Uniform Usage
It is important to know how one can use these uniforms to ensure the safety of the products. First, before beginning your daily operations as an employee, you should ensure that the uniform is clean and dry. Sanitized and clean uniforms have to be worn daily to ensure maximum protection. You should also avoid wearing damaged uniforms and wearing them outside the working station. It will help by preventing unnecessary contaminations.
A proper and effective uniform helps ensure the food or packaging is safe and free from contamination. It is advisable to properly equip the employees with the right garments to meet the required standards.