Clean Atlantic 2014 - September 10, 2014.
The Cunard Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

BOMEX 2014 - The Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA®) will be held September 9 to 11, 2014 athe RBC Convention Centre, in Winnipeg, MB. Visit for more details.
ISSA/INTERCLEAN - ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America® will be held November 4 to 7, 2014 at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, FL. Visit for more details.
Construct Canada - Canada's largest Building Design and Construction trade show will be held December 3 to 5, 2014 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building. Visit for more details.
OIRCA - 50th Anniversary - The Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association (OIRCA) is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2014. To commemorate this milestone, the association is launching a new web site at the end of March 2014 - visit for more details.
International Roof Coatings Conference (IRCC) -

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) has opened early bird registration for the International Roof Coatings Conference (IRCC). The IRCC will take place at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel in Baltimore, MD, on July 14 to 17, 2014. The conference will highlight the latest technological advancements and emerging issues of relevance to the roof coating, building envelope, green building, cool roofing, research and architectural communities. The discounted early bird registration will run through May 19, 2014. For a complete list of speakers and presentation topics, more information on the conference, and to register, please click HERE

Personal Hygiene and Food Workers


Personal Hygiene and Food Workers
By Christian Desroches, Deb Canada 

The intention of food safety is to prevent food poisoning (the transmission of disease through food), and to maintain the wholesomeness of the food product through all stages of processing. In the private home where food is prepared for a small number of people, the results of food contamination are limited. However, contamination in a restaurant or institutional kitchen can result in a large number of people being affected. Food handlers have a moral and legal responsibility to keep high standards of personal cleanliness to ensure that they do not contaminate. 

Hand Washing

The hands of food workers are often in direct contact with food, and these are a primary cause of contamination. Food handlers must wash their hands regularly throughout the working day (as noted below), and they must wash properly, not just a finger tinkle under tepid tap water. 

A proper wash includes a pre-rinse, 10 to 15 seconds of scrubbing to loosen soil and microbes, rinsing and thorough drying (preferably with disposable paper towels). The common practice of continually wiping the hands on a cloth held at the waist should cease, as this only serves to re-contaminate them, not clean them. 

Food workers should wash their hands (or, if not visibly soiled, use an approved alcohol rub): 

  • Before handling any food or equipment.
  • After handling raw food, especially meat and chicken, before they handle other foods.
  • Immediately after going to the toilet, blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing, smoking, eating, combing or touching their hair, handling waste food or rubbish, and handling cleaning equipment.

Jewellery and Perfume 

Food handlers should not wear jewelled rings or brooches, earrings or watches. These items can harbour dirt and bacteria, and are impossible to decontaminate. Aside from being socially frowned upon, strong perfume can taint foods, especially those with a high fat content. 

Cuts and Sores 

Cuts and sores can provide an ideal place for bacterial growth. To prevent contamination of food by harmful bacteria and blood, these wounds must be completely covered by waterproof dressings, (preferably coloured to help locate them if they come loose) and suitable gloves. Waterproof dressings will also help prevent cuts from going septic. If a cut or sore or area of infected skin cannot be completely covered with a waterproof dressing, the worker should not be handling food products. 

Nose, Mouth and Ears 

Approximately 40 per cent of adults carry (itals)Staphylococci (enditals)bacteria in their nose or mouth. Coughing and sneezing can propel the bacteria a surprisingly long distance. Using a disposable single-use tissue is preferable to hand kerchiefs. Infectious discharges from the ears, eyes and nose may also contaminate food and food workers should see their doctor if suffering from any of these infections. 

To prevent contamination of food from the hose, mouth and ears, food handlers must not: 

  • Cough or sneeze over or around food.
  • Pick or scratch their nose.
  • Taste food with their fingers or an unwashed utensil.
  • Blow into glasses to polish them or bags to open them.

Protective Clothing 

All food handlers should wear clean, washable, protective clothing, preferably without external pockets. Protective clothing must be suitable for the work being carried out and should completely cover ordinary clothes. It is worn to protect the food from the risk of contamination – dust, pet hairs, wood fibres, etc. – not just to keep private clothing clean. 

General Health 

Food handlers should be in good health – from oral hygiene to general fitness. Any food worker suffering from diarrhea, vomiting or a food-borne infection MUST be excluded from work, and can only return after they have been completely free to symptoms for two days. And they must stay away again if any symptoms return. 

Food workers with sink infections, sores, heavy colds and ear or eye discharge, must also stay away from work until the symptoms have gone. 

The personal hygiene of food workers is paramount. There are frequent reports of food borne illness caused by the poor personal care standards of a single kitchen worker that have caused discomfort, expense and, in some cases, death to many people. It isn’t complicated and it doesn’t take much time even in a very busy kitchen. Hand washing and the other factors that make up personal hygiene are non-negotiable.

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