A range of useful tips and articles from Astral Hygiene regarding all things clean and more so why not grab a cuppa, sit back and read about some of our nifty time-saving tips, we hope you enjoy! And don’t forget, please do let us know which tips and tricks you’ll be using in your business or home.
How to prepare for your Environmental Health Inspection
How to prepare for your Environmental Health Inspection
This is such a massive topic I’ve decided to spit it into five separate blogs which will be released over the next five weeks.
We all know that Food Handling Operators are regularly inspected by the Environmental Health, and for a lot of you out there, the thought of an Environmental Health Inspection can be so terrifying it can make you a little nervous. This blog is meant to alleviate some of that fear, and to let you know that Environmental Health are there to make sure the food you are serving is safe, well cooked, prepared hygienically and most importantly is not contaminated with E-Coli or any other nasty micro-organisms which will make your customers ill!
The first point I’d like to make is that Environmental Health will almost never arrive at your premises and ‘shut you down’ unless you are behaving totally unreasonably, and have vermin scurrying across your floors and your counters. Environmental Health’s first priority is to make sure that the food you are serving is safe… but that does not mean that they will shut you down, in fact on the whole Environmental Health Inspectors really want to work with business owners to put practices in place which will help you to ensure your food is safe, hygienically prepared as well as sumptuous, delicious, mouth watering……
So I intend to give you 5 Golden Rules to make your relationship with your Environmental Health Officer a seamless one. So off we go then…..
Colours are your friend….
Make sure that you have a colour coding system in place for each area to be cleaned. Meaning all of your cleaning equipment should be designated a colour which assigns it to a certain area. For each area you should have a mop, mop bucket, a colour coded handle, cloths, and potentially brushes and a dust pan – all colour coded.
So Blue would be general low risk areas, such as the lobby, corridors, general waiting rooms etc. In the Blue Zone you would have a blue mop & bucket, blue cloths, blue brushes etc. I may be pointing out the obvious here, but to be crystal clear; Green is for Kitchens and Bars, food areas, bar tops, cleaning sinks etc. Red is for Sanitary Fittings and washroom floors – to avoid confusion Red is for Toilets, Urinals, and Bathroom floors and Yellow is for Bathroom Sinks, the areas around the sinks for wiping down dispensers and the like.
It is very important that everyone who is using or who has potential to use the cleaning products/materials know which designated area these are to be kept in and used in to avoid cross contamination.
Posters with the colour coding designation schedule should be on display in every cleaning cupboard, and should be next to all cleaning supplies. I cannot stress this enough, everyone in your cleaning team/kitchen team/bar team/janitorial team – so everyone….. should know what cloth goes where, and which mop is used on which floor.
Under absolutely no circumstances should a red mop be dragged through a green zone – no mops that have been in the toilets (potentially covered in faecal bacteria) should EVER be dragged through the area you would be serving drinks or preparing food. Your environmental health officer will want to see presence of the posters, your colour coded mops/buckets/cloth/rubber gloves, and when they see these they will immediately be set at ease that you have the basics totally nailed!
Are you ready for Hygiene 2.0? 21st April 2021 | By Anna Armstrong | Coronovirus , Hygiene The virus that effectively shut down the world in 100 days, has taught us a great deal about Hygiene, and particularly how to manage it The virus that effectively shut down the world in 100 days, has taught us a great deal about Hygiene, and particularly how to manage it. It has also taught us that we need a new strategy, to manage the effects of any future pandemics or breakouts, to slow the spread down without having to shut everything down. Businesses, individuals; everyone has been through such a difficult and harrowing time over the last 12 months…. so now is the time to devise a plan to counter the effects of new virus outbreaks to allow us to manage it whilst still allowing businesses to function. In 2007, statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb defined “Black Swan” as an event that “is an outlier,” as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations. Black Swans by that definition are
How to clean lockers and locker rooms... 5th November 2021 | By Anna Armstrong How to clean lockers and locker rooms... . Locker Room Risks Locker rooms can be a breeding ground for various types of fungi, bacteria and viruses. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a type of bacteria that can spread easily in locker rooms, especially when equipment is being shared. Fungi often make their home in dark, damp, warm environments. Locker room users can catch fungal infections like athlete’s foot by walking barefoot in these environments if they aren’t cleaned routinely Ringworm is another fungal infection that can spread from person to person in communal areas like locker rooms Unclean surfaces can spread respiratory infections like the cold and flu to those using the locker room, especially between October and March when flu activity is elevated Plantar warts may arise if you walk barefoot, including in wet shower areas of the locker room Streptococcal bacteria that
Preparing to return to work .... shared kitchens 1st Aptil 2021 | By Anna Armstrong In my latest blog series “Preparing to get back to work safely” last week I discussed the implications around making sure your office chair is both clean and sanitised. If you missed it you can have a read here . It is important to make sure that as an employer or building manager the area you expect employees to come back to is both safe, and hygienic. There are so many disinfectants on the market claiming to kill Coronovirus, bacteria etc, but to really know what it kills you have to practically be a hygiene professional! Let’s drill down a bit here on this point........ Coronovirus is an umberella term which basically covers everything from COVID 19, SARS-COV-2 to the common cold and flu. So even if a product only kills the common cold; which is quite easy to kill - it can legally have on its label KILLS CORONAVIRUS.... which is technically true.... but doesn’t mean that it kills COVID or even