Best practice in hygiene equipment storage - 6 tips anyone can master

The way you store your hygiene equipment matters.  Not just to your reputation, but to your bottom line too.  Here are six best practice tips.

It may seem trivial. But for food manufacturers, producers and retailers, the correct storage of hygiene equipment is business critical. 

Get it right and you prevent food safety scares, enhance your reputation and save money. Get it wrong and you dent staff morale, damage your reputation and put end-consumers at risk. 

>> 7 catastrophic consequences of poor hygiene equipment storage 

So would you rather get it right or wrong? It’s an easy decision. Especially as the principles of good hygiene equipment storage are easy to master. Here are six pointers.

1. Everything in its right place

Every item of food hygiene equipment should have a home. A proper home where you know it can be found quickly, time after time. (The back of the storage cupboard doesn’t count.) This will avoid the hassle of searching for items and prevent the loss or theft of equipment. 

Shadow boards and wall storage systems make storage simple and save a tonne of space. Meanwhile colour-coding your hygiene equipment helps to ensure the right items are used in the right areas. That’s great for avoiding cross-contamination, enhancing end-consumer safety and simplifying staff training. 

A home for everything and everything in its place.

2. Clear security protocols

It might seem extreme to keep your hygiene equipment under lock and key, but it’s important to prevent untrained members of staff accessing your hygiene products - and it’s especially important if you are storing cleaning chemicals. 

Biometric access control locks ensure only authorised staff can get to the bits that matter. It gives you confidence that hygiene equipment will only be used by staff trained in its correct use. And it protects against the loss or theft of your items too.

3. Thorough staff training

The more rigorous your training is, the less robust your security needs to be. All relevant staff should be trained in the correct use and storage of hygiene equipment. But remember: people rarely follow rules without reason. Reinforce the link between hygiene equipment, food safety, end-consumer safety and the success of your company.

4. Keep hygiene equipment in well ventilated areas - especially wet gear

Just like humans, hygiene equipment performs better when it has room to breathe. Storing your items in a ventilated room or area will protect against mould and enhance the lifespan of your equipment. 

If your staff wear wet gear, store it in a room with additional heating or airflow to ensure drying between shifts. Nobody wants to slip on a pair of overalls that are soggy from the day before.

5. Check your equipment regularly

Just as you can’t get dry with a sopping wet towel, you can’t clean with dirty hygiene equipment. To put it another way, your production areas are only as clean as the equipment that cleaned it. 

Conduct thorough checks regularly on your hygiene equipment, looking for damage, deterioration, missing parts and cleanliness. If you find anything untoward, take instant action to mitigate the hygiene risk.

6. Take an inventory of your hygiene equipment

Of course, those safety checks are way easier when you know exactly what hygiene equipment you have and where it’s stored. Take an inventory of your hygiene equipment and make sure each item isounted for on your safety checks. It’s an easy and effective way to alert yourself to lost or misplaced items.

Over to you...

See? We told you that good hygiene equipment storage was simple. The hard part is changing habits and putting knowledge into action. Follow the rules above and you will be on your way to an efficient, productive and, most importantly, safe working environment. No annoying searches for the correct brush that’s never there when you need it. No cross-contamination of allergens or bacteria. No risk of debris from damaged cleaning items winding up in your food production areas. 

Good for you, good for your customers, good for end-consumers.

Posted on 13/06/2017