The provision of separate hand washing facilities are now compulsory in many business premises, and require the use of a dedicated sink or basin. The basin should be easily accessible, fully functional, clean, and clearly marked to show that it is a dedicated hand washing facility.
Food preparation areas are one key area where separate facilities are very important. Food hygiene standards insist that hands are washed before any food preparation takes place. Good hand hygiene also dictates that hands are washed after handling raw meat to prevent contamination to other food products.
A dedicated sink or basin is required, and no food is allowed to be washed in this sink, nor should it be utilised for washing up of any utensils. Stick on wall signs are the common source of displaying that this is a dedicated hand washing basin.
There are many different materials used for the manufacture of sinks and basins, such as stainless steel wash basins, china, and polycarbonate plastic. Stainless steel wash basins are very popular in kitchen environments due to their strength, durability and relatively cheap cost. They also match the large amount of other stainless steel products found in many kitchen areas.
It is now a legal requirement to have separate washing facilities in all business premises involved in supplying and preparing food. The wash basin must have a sign proclaiming that it is a hand washing sink only. The hand wash basin should be used with taps that can be operated without having to touch them with your hand, this will prevent cross contamination after hands have been washed. Wrist or elbow operated taps are the cheapest non hand touch taps but knee operated taps and infra-red sensor taps are also available.
Many other areas also require separate hand washing facilities such as medical practices, hospitals, doctors surgeries and nursing homes. In areas where patient contact is required infection control practices dictate that your hands should be washed before any patient contact takes place. In areas such as these the use of lever operated taps is required to prevent you re-contaminating your hands by touching the taps with your hands. There are many types of lever operated taps, from non-thermostatic mixer taps, to thermostatic hospital taps.
Hand hygiene is an important factor in many aspects of our daily life, and having adequate facilities in place is an important consideration for most business premises.