Best Practices for Food Safety Personnel
Unknowingly, your team can transfer L. monocytogenes from the processing environment to the food. Following are recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration to help stop this spread.
Wash hands thoroughly before entering RTE food processing area.
Use utensils or wear gloves when touching exposed RTE Foods, food-contact surfaces and packaging materials.
Gloves and footwear should be impermeable, in good shape and easily cleanable or disposable.
Keep RTE gloves and footwear contained to RTE areas in your plant.
Establish and implement conditions and practices to prevent employee clothing from contributing to the contamination of food with L. monocytogenes. Depending on the type of operation, such conditions and practices include:
Cover street clothes from the knee and up before entering RTE area.
Smocks and uniforms laundered or disposed of daily.
RTE uniforms distinguished from non-RTE uniforms and worn only in RTE areas.
Here are the FDA’s recommendations for glove usage in your plant.
Wash your hands before putting the gloves on.
Wash and sanitize multi-use gloves before use.
Discard or sanitize gloves after employee touches any non-food contact surface or leaves RTE area.
For more information on FDA recommendations on how to minimize Listeria Monocytogenes in your plant, see the “Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-To-Eat Foods: Guidance for Industry Draft Guidance Guide.”