Cross contamination in the health care and food and beverage industries is steadily increasing and causing significant health concerns. Employees are wearing their uniforms outside of their work environment, uniforms are not being washed correctly and surfaces are not being cleaned regularly. But how can you guarantee hygienic uniforms are available when you need them?
Protect the health of your employees, customers and the public by outsourcing your uniform laundry needs. At Alsco, we have a managed uniform rental service, which sees us providing clean uniforms for your staff. When the items are soiled, Alsco will return and pick up the dirty uniforms and provide you with clean ones, all processed by one of our HACCP accredited facilities.
Most companies don’t realise how easy it is to cross contaminate their clothing or other materials. So why don’t we run through a typical day of, for example, a waiter who works in front of house at a restaurant.
They wake up, eat breakfast, have a shower and get dressed. If their work clothes were not washed correctly (washed at a minimum of 60 degrees for 10 minutes, with laundry detergent), their uniform is already contaminated from the previous shift and has probably already contaminated any other item it was washed with. Given that most domestic washing machines have “quick” cycles, often on cold wash or 30 degrees, this is a hidden issue that is often ignored.
The individual then leaves the house, uses public transport to get to work. While on the bus, their clothes will have most likely picked up other bacteria, pet hair and germs commonly found in public environments. They have now arrived at the restaurants’ kitchen, ready to start their shift. They may put an apron on (if brought with them from home, this is most likely contaminated as well), on top of their clothing that looks visibly cleaned, however is far from it.
Bacteria and germs can then be passed to customers, through shaking hands with customers, when their meals are served to them or when the table is set before the customers have sat down; as well as to other staff in the restaurant both in the kitchen and on the floor, depending on the layout. This is just the journey of one restaurant waiter, with countless other possibilities of cross contamination that could have also happened.
If laundry of the uniforms were outsourced, staff are required to leave the uniforms in their work environment, ensuring that they are not bringing any of the bacteria on their uniforms, with them on their journey home. Uniforms are also washed at the correct temperature, ensuring the maximum possible amount of bacteria has been killed. Any new uniform they wear at the start of their shift, has been professionally cleaned.
By using a uniform rental company for food & beverage wear, pharmaceutical garments, medical wear or industrial workwear, you are able to better protect the public. Decision makers in these industries need to consider the risks against the benefits. Although it may be cheaper for employees to purchase their own uniforms, is it worth harming the public for your benefit?
Let Alsco handle your uniform needs and thus decrease countless cross contamination possibilities and increase the health and safety of your workers!