Over the years food manufacturing plants have taken great strides to rid their plants of the pathogens that can cause consumers to become sick. Yet, for all their advances, many of them are still using an antiquated system to clean their employee’s shoes and foots. Footbaths were once the only option for many plants, but thanks to new technology, they should be something your plant replaces immediately.
To understand why footbaths have limitations for sanitation use, we need to think of them as baths, that multiple people will use. The first employee to step into the foot bath is using clean water to disinfect their shoes. The next one to use it has slightly less clean water and with employee using the footbath, the water becomes more and more contaminated. No one wants to be the last one in the bath.
Footbaths are clearly useless and ineffective if there is soil inside the soles of the shoes or boots. This is because the sanitiser targets the bottom of the soles and if there are food particles present, only the surface is sanitised allowing microorganisms to survive and grow. The larger the food particle, the longer it takes for the sanitiser to penetrate inside the sole, therefore becoming less effective in its task.
Studies show pathogens are likely to be transmitted by employee’s footwear during the period of walking among different areas in the plant This means footwear needs to be aggressively cleaned to ensure they are sanitary. Unfortunately, footbaths don’t really get into crevices and in fact can add to the problem.
Safety can also be an issue. Once an employee steps out, there can be a soapy film on the bottom of their soles. This could cause the employee to slip as they walk across the concrete floor of the plant.
There is also the issue of emptying them. Footbaths are often two or three-foot-wide and long, making them cumbersome to lift when they have bleach or chlorine in them. Many factories simply dump them out on the floor and then squeegee the water into a drain. This again leaves an area where employees could potentially slip.
Why New Methods Must Be Used
Footwear can be a vehicle that transfers pathogens within one area of plants to another is why cleaning of shoes and boots with specifically designed hygiene technology is necessary for the possible germ-free production facility.
Thankfully new technology advanced equipment is available that is more productive than footbaths and is specifically designed for the food industry. For example, a boot washing machine will use the equipment’s rotating brushes to remove particles lodged into the boots and shoes crevices with water and a disinfecting agent being sprayed onto the employee’s footwear at the same time. The result is having your boots and shoes pathogen free in an productive and economical process.
Since they are designed specifically for the food production industry, they are meant to work quickly and efficiently. In the same amount of time an employee would have stepped in and out of a footbath, they can use these machines to thoroughly clean their shoes, without the resulting risks.
ITEC America provides productive & quality manufactured hygiene equipment, to wash and sanitizes employees foot wear & hands, allowing companies to operate effective and efficiently for the food safety regulations. Contact ITEC America at 563-582-4230 to learn further on their Boot and Sole Washing equipment used in food production facilities.