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Issue Number: Council III 009

Title

Report - Hand Hygiene Committee (HHC)

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

The 2012-2014 Hand Hygiene Committee had the following charges to:

1) More closely examine the current Food Code requirements for when employees are required to wash their hands using soap and running water.

If credible research suggests that one or more of the situations under which food employees are currently required to wash their hands does not result in meaningful risk reduction, work with FDA to explore whether those mandates could be modified, either in the Code itself or by recognizing when it is appropriate to waive the requirement (e.g., other approaches to hand hygiene are available and practiced).

Determine if/when double gloving procedures would be acceptable without hand washing. If so, what would those acceptable procedures be?

Determine what glove criteria or standards would need to be met for a glove to be considered a utensil and not require hand washing.

2) the report of the 2010-2012 Committee as a reference, illustrating the interactions of scientific, regulatory and behavioral considerations related to alternative hand hygiene regimes compared to handwashing. The committee should characterize what recent research tells us about:

the extent to which the current minimum requirements for how and when employees are to wash their hands are effective in rendering food employees hands free of various soils, as well as, any pathogens of concern;

what other regimens for cleansing employees hands, if any, may deliver outcomes that are similar to or better than handwashing so as to suggest that they could be included as acceptable methods for rendering hands free of soil and pathogens.

3) The committee report back its findings to the 2014 Biennial Meeting.

Public Health Significance

The main purpose of washing hands is to cleanse the hands of soil, pathogens and chemicals that can potentially cause disease. Transmission of pathogenic bacteria, viruses and parasites to food from contaminated surfaces, raw food or ill workers by way of improperly washed hands continues to be a major factor in the spread of foodborne illnesses.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

1. acknowledgement of the 2012-2014 Hand Hygiene Committee report, and

2. thanking the committee for the effort the members put forth in working on the charges.

Attachments

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