Why Hygienic Laundering Is an Essential Food Processing Best Practice

Workwear clothing

Food safety is a concern across the nation. Norovirus, salmonella, and dozens of other foodborne pathogens can be spread if strict quality control measures aren’t followed. One of these is hygienic laundering of food processing clothing. It represents part of a quality control method known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), which identifies and addresses process issues to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

What Is HACCP-Compliant Hygienic Laundering?

Laundering operations must be HACCP-compliant because linens and garments can easily become contaminated in food processing environments. This contamination can have significant consequences for workers, suppliers, and consumers.

Various critical control points apply to commercial washing machines. First, wash cycles must have temperatures high enough to kill common pathogens. Also, the chemicals used to wash an HACCP-compliant uniform must kill bacteria and other pathogens that can exist and survive on food products.

The drying temperature must be hot enough, and just long enough, to destroy remaining pathogens without damaging the uniform.

Why Is Hygienic Laundering Essential for Those Working In the Food Processing Industry?

Poor food hygiene can spread diseases, cause illnesses, and even have fatal consequences. While hand washing and personal hygiene are critical, contaminated uniforms can contribute to cross contamination between raw and ready-to-eat food products. Hygienic laundering addresses this and germs that come from people and the environment.

Uniforms often get dirty. That’s why it’s important to have spares that have been cleaned and sanitized readily available. Hygienic uniforms should also never be worn outside food handling areas. Each worker must start their shift with a clean uniform and remove it even if they leave their station temporarily.

How Clothing Can Contaminate Food

Cuffed Lab Coat

Germs easily pass from one place to another. Food contamination during processing can occur when workers handle raw meat and other foods harboring bacteria, which can spread if the contaminated fabric touches another food product, surface, or piece of equipment. Clothing brought in from outside the sterile environment can spread germs as well.

The importance of HACCP in the food service industry cannot be overstated. Clean uniforms prevent contamination of food by germs, dirt, and other pathogens. However, hygiene isn’t the only factor. In food manufacturing plants, workwear should have no pockets above the waist or buttons, as both can trap bacteria. Durable, industrial-grade fabric is recommended, as it can hold up after multiple washings.

We Help Your Food Processing Facility Stay HACCP-Compliant

At Prudential Overall Supply, we offer HACCP-compliant workwear, cleaning products, and laundering services for food processing/manufacturing facilities. Fully trained in HACCP compliance, our staff provides high-quality HACCP uniform cleaning and safely packages laundered items for delivery. These services meet strict inspection and quality standards to support Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).

As part of our HACCP uniform service, we offer Clean Green Certified HACCP coats, shirts, and pants. These are available in various sizes, colors, and styles. In addition, we supply compliant microfiber and restroom products and NFSI-certified Flow-Thru and Anti-Fatigue mats.

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