The International Food Standard (IFS) has formulated a wide range of criteria that a company in the food sector has to meet to become eligible for the IFS certificate. With this certification, a company guarantees that it meets the worldwide standards for food safety that is increasingly being made mandatory by supermarket chains and other retailers.
One of the elements of this standard for food safety is the personal hygiene within a company. To comply with the IFS Food standard in this area, the company must make personnel provisions available that are tailored to the size of the company. These amenities must be designed and used in such a way that the risks to food safety are minimised. And these amenities must of course be properly maintained and kept in a clean condition.
IFS criteria or personal hygiene
- There must be rules and provision for the correct handling of personal property. For example, there must be enough storage lockers.
- Food brought to work, food from the canteen and food from vending machines may only be stored and / or consumed in designated areas.
- There are suitable changing rooms for employees (including employees from outside such as temporary workers) and visitors who have direct access to the production areas.
If necessary, outdoor clothing and protective work clothing must be stored separately from each other.
- By the entrance to the production area and at the sanitary facilities, adequate facilities must be provided for hand hygiene, such as running drinking water, liquid soap and hand drying facilities.
- At the entrance to high-care areas (where, for example, highly perishable food products are processed) additional requirements for hand hygiene apply, such as:
o hand-contact-free taps,
o hand disinfection,
o signs and pictograms that display the requirement for hand hygiene.
o waste bins that can be opened by means of a foot pedal.
- If necessary, facilities must be available for cleaning and possibly disinfecting boots, footwear and protective clothing.
To guarantee the personal hygiene of the employees, Elpress recommends the use of turnstiles. These turnstiles that give access to the production area, are located at the end of the hygiene sluice, and only open when the employee has completed the entire hygiene process. In an audit for an IFS certificate, this controlled access guarantees the personal hygiene.
Checklist for personal hygiene
Would you like to know more about what measures you need to take in the field of personal hygiene to be able to qualify for a hygiene certificate? Then download our white paper 'Check-list Personal Hygiene'.