Conference for Food Protection

2018 Biennial Meeting

Issue View | Council III | 2018 Scribe Packet

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Issue Number: Council III 026

Issue History

This is a brand new Issue.


Amend Food Code – Remove Chemically Treated Towelette from 5-203.11

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

A recommendation is being made to remove allowance for chemically treated towelette to be used in place of handwashing.

Public Health Significance

Proper hand hygiene has long been established as a priority to decrease foodborne illness. Hand hygiene studies and observations have shown that the components important to reducing pathogen load on hands include cleaning compound applied to hand, friction and rubbing during the washing process, and a mechanical method such as a paper towel used for drying1.

The allowance for a chemical towelette does not provide sufficient information for what the parameters are for the chemical towelette. With no clear information on what chemical is needed on the towelette, how it is to be used, or any data surrounding efficacy of these chemical towelettes, it is not a scientifically sound position to include this allowance in the Food Code.

References: (indicated above with superscript numeral)

1. Montville et al. International Journal of Food Microbiology 73 (2002) 305- 313

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that a letter be sent to the FDA requesting that Section 5-203.11 of the most current edition of the Food Code be amended as follows: (Language to be deleted is in strikethrough format):

5-203.11 Handwashing Sinks.

(A) Except as specified in ¶¶ (B) and (C) of this section, at least 1 HANDWASHING SINK, a number of HANDWASHING SINKS necessary for their convenient use by EMPLOYEES in areas specified under § 5-204.11, and not fewer than the number of HANDWASHING SINKS required by LAW shall be provided. Pf

(B) If APPROVED and capable of removing the types of soils encountered in the FOOD operations involved, automatic handwashing facilities may be substituted for HANDWASHING SINKS in a FOOD ESTABLISHMENT that has at least 1 HANDWASHING SINK.

(C) If APPROVED, when FOOD exposure is limited and HANDWASHING SINKS are not conveniently available, such as in some mobile or TEMPORARY FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS or at some VENDING MACHINE LOCATIONS, EMPLOYEES may use chemically treated towelettes for handwashing.

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