5 Components of a HACCP-Compliant Food-Processing Uniform
Employee uniforms are essential when it comes to safety in the food processing industry. A food factory worker uniform must prevent dangerous contaminants and pathogens from spreading to food. Since these are usually too small to see, the right kind of uniform is needed, and it must be managed properly to be effective.
What Is HACCP?
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) were implemented in 1995 by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, a committee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and inclusive of agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Internationally recognized, HACCP is a method of identifying and managing food-safety-related risks, including biological, chemical, and physical hazards.
The management system applies throughout the food supply chain, from raw material production to procurement and handling, to distribution and consumption. It not only helps regulatory agencies but customers and the general public know an active food safety program meets the latest standards. However, it’s not the only aspect of a food safety program to consider. It doesn’t cover traceability, pest control, hygiene, and other crucial elements. Nonetheless, here’s what you need to know about HACCP compliance:
Why Are HACCP Compliant Uniforms Important?
The HACCP deals with hazards and controls. It aims to prevent hazards from occurring, not detect ones that are already present. The idea is to manage critical control points. These refer to potential hazards that can result in cross contamination during food processing.
Employee uniforms represent this one critical control point, making them a major aspect of HACCP compliance.
Must-Haves for an HACCP-Compliant Food Processing Uniform
To ensure a food factory worker uniform is compliant, it must have the following characteristics:
- No Pockets: Pockets cannot be placed above the waist on any type of food industry apparel, and many facilities ban pockets altogether. An HACCP-compliant uniform in general may fit either format. Items in pockets can easily fall out. These can be contaminated with bacteria, even after washing, and they can make food dangerous to consume and pose a potential choking hazard.
- No Buttons: There can be no buttons anywhere on the garment. Buttons are prone to falling off. Like pockets, they can trap bacteria in hard-to-reach spots. Plus, a button that falls off is, itself, a hazard that can end up in a food product and put unsuspecting consumers at risk.
- Durable Fabric: Food processing uniforms require frequent washing. They must therefore be made of fabrics that can withstand many washings without breaking down. Otherwise, tiny fibers or threads could contaminate food during processing. A durable fabric won’t shed and will continue to support HACCP compliance safety initiatives at any food processing facility.
- Proper Fit: Every aspect of the garment must properly fit the wearer, including body and sleeve length. No element can be trailing, as it can become a hazard in terms of food contamination. Trailing fabric can also be a spill hazard. Not to mention well-fitted uniforms are more comfortable, which helps improve productivity among employees wearing complaint garments.
- Clean: All uniforms must be sanitary to prevent food contamination. Aside from garments that tolerate repeated washings, it’s essential to follow the best procedures for cleaning and sanitation, which means having a written process to follow. It should account for chemicals used and how employees exercise personal hygiene.
Trust Prudential Overall Supply for Uniform and Laundry Services
We offer many types of uniforms and apparel, personal protective equipment, and cleanroom services. Our range of HACCP-compliant food processing uniforms includes shirts, coats, smocks, and pants. In addition, laundry services ensure your food factory worker uniforms remain compliant and safe to use. Browse our catalog and services or call 800-767-5536 to learn more.