We tend to emphasize the ways in which high quality work uniforms are designed to help prevent employee illness, injury or burns, but it’s just as important to protect the products you make – especially food and health products– from damage or contamination that can occur if your work uniform program is not doing its job.
The right work uniform – from its closures, fabrics, pockets and fittings, to the way it is cleaned – is designed to help maximize product safety and help prevent accidents and contamination.
HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) is an internationally recognized system of standards for the management of food safety processes that has been incorporated into regulatory standards enforced by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, among other agencies. It includes processes for the analysis and control of biological, chemical and physical hazards in production processes that can cause a finished product to be unsafe. It also designs measures to reduce these risks to a safe level. The standards cover every step from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.
Work Uniforms for Food or Health Product Handling
HACCP-compliant work uniforms ensure that employees in the food and health product industries can perform their jobs without their uniforms getting in the way of maintaining the highest standards of safety and hygiene. These standards take into account everything from garment design to laundering procedures. Here are five essential features of work uniform garments for use in food or health product manufacturing:
1. Pocket-Free Design
Food handlers are prohibited from having pockets above the waistline, but best practices for food production uniforms avoid pockets of all shapes, sizes and placements. Pockets can hold pens, or anything else, that can drop into a production line and create a world of problems. Pockets also trap bacteria, so it’s best to avoid them.
2. Snap Closures
Snap closures are preferred to buttons, which can also fall off, and create a gap that can trap micro-organisms. Some food handlers even use smocks, eliminating any type of closure along the front of an employee’s uniform.
3. A Good Fit
Loose-fitting clothing creates a risk of getting in the way, causing spills or snags, or gaps. Features like fitted cuffs can reduce the risk of contamination. A good fit also increases employee comfort, which is key to productivity.
4. Separate Laundering Processes
Depending on the industry, laundering processes may need to meet HAACP criteria for water temperature and detergent type, as well as for separate handling of garments to prevent cross-contamination.
5. Durable Fabrics with Good Soil Release
Garments subjected to frequent, high-temperature laundering also need to be constructed of durable fabric with good soil release properties.
A Work Uniform Program that Helps Takes the Work Out of Compliance
At Budget Uniform, we have been providing our clients in the food and health product industries with a reliable, safe and high-quality work uniform program for decades, with processes that help keep them compliant with food safety standards including HAACP.
From our HACCP-trained employees and processes that ensure safe, consistent and validated processes for uniform handling to our first-rate customer service, we provide our clients with a program they don’t have to think about.
Call us or click on the link below to learn more about how we can help take the work out of your work uniform program.