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Regulatory requirements: Preventive controls
9.0 Hygiene

SFCR: Sections 76 to 81

Rationale

It is important that you take into consideration the following factors related to the persons in your food business as they may become a source of potential contamination to a food or affect the welfare of food animals intended for slaughter. These factors include, but are not limited to:

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. Key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Section 76: Clothing, footwear and protective coverings

  • Any person who enters or is in an area of the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter a food animal is wearing clothing, footwear and protective coverings such as gloves, hairnets, beard nets and smocks, that are
    • in good condition
    • clean and in a sanitary condition
    • appropriate for the food
    • appropriate for the activity being conducted

      Examples:

      • You determine what protective coverings are necessary based on the risk to the food and the activity, and advise employees of their responsibility to wear them
      • You make sure that the clothing, footwear and protective coverings are in good condition and are clean and in sanitary condition by requiring that the employees, including contractors and visitors
        • remove them during breaks
        • change them as necessary
        • regularly wash them if they will be re-used
      • Depending on the food and activity being conducted, clothing, footwear and protective coverings are
        • worn within the area of the establishment for which their use is needed to prevent risk of contamination to the food
        • clean at the start of the shift and changed during the shift, as required
        • made of materials which are able to be cleaned and sanitized, if re-used
        • not re-used if they are intended for one-time use

Section 77: Personal cleanliness and hand washing

  • To prevent the contamination of the food, any person who enters or is in an area of the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or where you slaughter a food animal maintains personal cleanliness

    Examples:

    • Personal cleanliness can be maintained by
      • keeping nails short and clean
      • not wearing dirty or torn street clothes even if they are worn under a smock
      • regularly bathing or showering
      • washing hair
      • cleaning hands to remove any visible dirt and, if necessary, sanitizing hands to reduce the number of microorganisms to a safe level
      • sanitizing hands when handling ready-to-eat food or surfaces that contact ready-to-eat food
  • To maintain personal cleanliness, the person cleans and, if necessary, sanitizes their hands
    • immediately upon entering the area
    • immediately after using the lavatory
    • immediately before beginning to conduct an activity, and
    • at a frequency appropriate for the food and the activity being conducted

      Examples:

      • You determine the need and the frequency of cleaning and if necessary, sanitizing, of hands based on the risk to the food and the activity being conducted

Section 78: Hygienic behaviours and habits

  • Any person who enters or who is in an area of the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or where you slaughter a food animal refrains from
    • spitting
    • chewing gum
    • using tobacco products
    • eating
    • unnecessarily contacting the food and
    • acting in any other way that presents a risk of contamination of the food

      Examples:

      • Other acts that may present a risk of contamination of the food include
        • "horse playing" in areas where food is stored or prepared
        • sucking on candies or cough medicine while working
        • wiping hands on clothes
        • scratching of the head and/or face
        • placing fingers in or around the mouth or nose
        • brushing up against packaging liners
        • drinking while working on a food production line

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

      • may allow employees to drink water under certain circumstances, however you need to make sure that it is done in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination to the food

Section 79: Wearing and using objects and substances

  • Any person who enters or is in an area of the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or where you slaughter a food animal refrains from wearing or using any object or substance that may present a risk of contamination of the food

    Examples:

    • Watches, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, fake nails, fake eyelashes, pens, paper clips, pins, and buttons are objects that may present a risk of contamination to the food
    • Objects that cannot be removed and present a risk of contamination, including religious apparel, wedding bands, medical alerts, are secured and, if necessary, covered
    • Substances that may present a risk of contamination to the food such as hand cream, nail polish or topical medicinal creams are not used if they present a risk of contamination to the food

Section 80: Reporting of disease, illness, symptoms and lesions

  • Any person who works in an area where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or where you slaughter a food animal, and who has a disease or illness, symptoms of a disease or illness, or has an open or infected lesion, reports them to you

    Examples:

    • You require any person, including visitors, contractors and staff, that enters your establishment to report whether they have a communicable disease, are a carrier of a communicable disease, or have an open or infected lesion
    • You ensure that persons working in an establishment are aware that they are required to report a disease or illness, symptoms of a disease or illness, or presence of an open or infected lesion to an identified responsible person in the establishment
    • You have a mechanism in place for employees to report their condition to a responsible person in the establishment

Section 81: Persons with communicable diseases and lesions

  • If the person's condition presents a risk of contamination of the food, the operator prevents any person from entering or being in an area of the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or where you slaughter a food animal when they
    • are suffering from a communicable disease
    • are known to be a carrier of a communicable disease
    • have an open or infected lesion

      Examples:

      • You have a process to determine whether a person with a communicable disease or with an open or infected lesion presents a risk of contamination to the food
      • You verify with any person that you suspect to have an illness whether their condition may present a risk of contamination to the food
      • You require open wounds on exposed areas of the skin such as the hands, arms, face, neck, and scalp to be adequately covered with water proof dressing if the person will be in food areas
      • If you determine there is a risk of contamination to the food, your employees are prevented from working in areas where food is exposed and handled; however, they may be permitted to work in other areas of the establishment (for example, in the warehouse operating a palletizer of finished product in boxes) if you determine there is no risk of contamination to the food
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