Jonathan Hooper, marketing manager at Connect Hygiene Products Ltd, reveals the results of some interesting research.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has revealed that though its recommended advice to restaurants is to use disposable cloths for wiping, only 32% do so. Of the 68% that did use cloths, in 24 instances in the study, the cloths were used in both raw and ready to eat areas. 15% of the catering premises reviewed didn’t even know how often their reusable cleaning cloths were changed.
One of the most important factors in reducing the spread of bacteria is ensuring that separate cloths are used in specified areas and it seems that this advice is being ignored. So bacteria do spread and sometimes the customers get food poisoning. Always unpleasant, it can be more serious, especially amongst vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and the elderly. Given the risk to human health and the subsequent tarnished business reputation, the choice of wiping methods would seem to deserve a higher level of priority.
So why do restaurants take these risks, why do they largely ignore the HPA’s advice? Convenience must be a factor, custom another and the product ‘feel’ perhaps yet another. But if this practice is combined with the other great hygiene problem area, hand drying, then there is a solution in sight that may convince the catering industry to change.
The HPA also recommend the use of disposable paper towels for hand drying in food preparation areas, believing it to be the most effective way of removing bacteria from hands. The recent study from the University of Bradford confirms that view, placing paper towels above any other form of hand drying in reducing bacterial transference.
Connect Hygiene has developed a tissue that is both sufficiently robust and absorbent for use as an effective disposable wiping cloth, whilst being soft and flexible enough to encourage thorough hand drying. Made from 100% recycled paper, the 2 in 1 tissue can be accessed through any Leonardo roll towel dispenser.
So one dispenser, useful in the confined space of some kitchens, with a dual purpose tissue for both hand drying and wiping. It meets the HPA’s recommendations, helps maintain the business reputation for excellent hygiene practice and as an additional bonus, has impressive cost in use performance figures. Oh, and if an inspector does ask how often you change your wiping material, wouldn’t it be nice to say: "Don’t know, it doesn’t apply to me!"