There are two main goals that food processing uniforms need to accomplish: protect the wearer and protect the product.
If employee incidents or product contaminations are recurring issues in your facility, you need to evaluate how your products are being handled.
The HACCP food safety clothing your employees wear could be causing the problem.
In this article we’ll make sure that your business employees comply with HACCP standards by following these five essentials:
- Snap front food processing coats instead of button downs
- Pocketless shirt and pants for contamination prevention
- Fitted garments to prevent spills
- Durable and long-lasting materials
- Cleanliness that meets FDA, USDA, and HACCP standards
Before we begin, what is HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points)
HACCP is a management system that can be used to help reduce risks that may be associated with food safety and is internationally recognized.
These FDA methods include controlling biological chemicals, physical hazards from raw materials, and overall consumption of food products.
There are seven (7) principles of HACCP which involve:
- Conduct a Hazard Analysis.
- Identify Critical Control Points.
- Establish Critical Limits.
- Establish Monitoring Procedures.
- Establish Corrective Actions.
- Establish Verification Procedures.
- Record Keeping Procedure.
Now that we’re familiar with the basics of HACCP planning and implementation, let’s make sure your business complies with FDA regulations.
1. Snap front food processing coats instead of button downs
Buttons will ruin your product. Sure, this may sound ridiculous (unless you’ve experienced it yourself), but a single loose button can ruin an entire production run and cost you thousands of dollars.
It’s best to avoid buttons on food manufacturing uniforms at all costs.
Snap front clothing is the ideal solution for food processing shirts, pants, and lab coats.
Not only does snap front clothing protect your product from contamination, but they also protect employees from hazardous spills since these garments can be removed more quickly than their button-down counterparts.
2. Pocketless shirt and pants for contamination prevention
No pockets above the waistline! Better yet, no pockets at all.
If you want to avoid contaminations at all costs, get rid of pockets on your uniforms.
While food industry regulations restrict uniform pockets from being above the waist, having pockets at all will put you at risk for contamination.
It enables employees to store belongings on themselves that could contaminate your product.
It’s also a space for debris or other contaminants to be transported around your facility.
If you’re signed up for a uniform rental program or plan on getting into one, you’ll want to be sure your provider can give you a pocketless solution.
3. Fitted garments to prevent spills
Are your company uniforms fitted with proper sleeve and body length?
A good uniform rental company will measure your employees and make sure garments all fit properly with the right width and length.
If you provide your own uniforms, this can be a more difficult and time-consuming process.
While fitted uniforms help to prevent spills, they’re also more comfortable, which can improve your employees’ productivity.
4. Durable and long-lasting materials
Make sure the supplier of your food safety uniforms uses garments created from durable materials.
Food processing uniforms should only be worn once before being washed, which means your uniforms will be hitting the wash cycle pretty often.
If your garments can’t stand up to the heavy washing, you’ll frequently need uniform repairs.
Damaged uniforms can otherwise leave your employees exposed and products at risk of contamination.
Uniform rental companies can offer repairs for your uniforms. Just make sure that repairs to your food safety uniforms are included in a flat-rate cost rather than incurring unexpected fees.
5. Cleanliness that meets FDA, USDA, and HACCP standards
As a business in the food industry, sanitation should be a major priority.
If you’re having problems with the cleanliness of your employees’ uniforms, you should consider having a uniform rental company manage the cleaning of your garments.
If you already have a uniform rental provider, make sure your supplier understands the requirements of your industry and business processes.
Many food manufacturing companies have unique processes, so make sure that your uniform service provider understands your company and is willing to provide the level of sanitation you need to meet standards.
Check out our previous blog post on the three options you have for keeping company uniforms clean.
Get a Uniform Program that Meets HACCP Food Safety Clothing Requirements
Is your current uniform solution not working? Clean Rental specializes in uniform services and is one of the largest independent commercial laundering companies.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, we serve some of the largest food processing, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing companies in the United States.
Our laundering and delivery services guarantee your uniforms will get to you on time, every week, with the highest level of sanitation standards.
We understand the importance of meeting HACCP, FDA, and USDA regulations and the financial impact on your company if things go wrong.
That’s why we go the extra mile to make sure everything is right.
Ready to get into a better food safety uniform program that will help you protect your product and employees? Talk to one of our food industry experts to see what we can do for you!