2020 State of the Employee Hygiene Market Report & Lessons Learned from COVID-19

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked with Quality Assurance Magazine to organize a State of the Hygiene Market study to reveal how employee hygiene is currently being managed in food processing facilities. The results of this survey were fascinating and especially timely considering how this pandemic has thrust the importance of handwashing and hygiene to the forefront of people’s daily lives, and transformed hygiene into a measure of corporate social responsibility.


In our upcoming virtual conference “Employee Hygiene 2020: The State of the Market in Food Facilities” we will formally present the results of this state of the market research and collaboratively discuss how food processors can utilize these insights to improve hygiene both during and after COVID-19:

Contemporary Best Practices in Employee Hygiene in Food Facilities

Hygiene as a Measure of Corporate Social Responsibility

Presented by Lisa Lupo, Editor at QA Magazine Presented by Paul Barnhill, CTO at Meritech

In this contemporary analyses of the current status of employee hygiene in food and beverage processing facilities, QA Editor Lisa Lupo discusses the results of QA’s 2020 State of the Employee Hygiene Market Survey; offers an in-depth analysis of the survey responses; and provides insights on the practical application of personal hygiene practices and standards in the year of COVID-19.

While there's a greater emphasis on hygiene than ever before, good hygiene practices have always been a life or death situation for food processing facilities. Meritech CTO and hygiene expert Paul Barnhill discusses how hygiene is now a measure of corporate social responsibility and why it’s important for organizations to go back and reassess and validate current hygiene practices to ensure that SOP’s are still best for today’s world.

Register for the Virtual Conference

Why is the state of the market in food facilities virtual conference so timely? 


This survey was distributed in early February before community spread of COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. Despite this, none of the respondents ranked handwashing, personal hygiene or ill-worker separation from food as unimportant in their facility. 

This is no surprise, as for the food industry hygiene has always been a life or death situation. The threat of dangerous pathogens has always existed for these essential workers, since hygiene can directly impact consumer safety and the supply of food products.Therefore, it’s no surprise that 98% of respondents had a handwashing policy in place at their facility.

Good hand hygiene has always been important, but for these individuals, 76% of whom were in QA/QC or food safety job roles, only greater emphasis has been placed on handwashing and hygiene. Now companies have a responsibility to uphold good hygiene standards to ensure the safety of their consumers, employees and society as a whole. 

Learn why hygiene is now a measure of corporate social
responsibility in the upcoming virtual conference!

What were the results of the state of the hygiene market survey? 

The State of the Hygiene Market survey presented by Meritech and QA Magazine surveyed individuals in the food processing and packaging industries about handwashing, footwear sanitiation and general hygiene practices at their companies. Some key insights came from this survey including: 

  • Only 63% of facilities provided paid sick leave for production team members
  • Only 48% of individuals ranked shoe/boot sanitation as very important at their facility
  • 16% of respondents thought that a manual handwash should less than 20 seconds 
  • Just 62% of facilities required individuals to wash their hands before donning gloves

Interested to learn more of the insights from this survey? Download the survey results report here, or join us for our upcoming virtual conference with QA Magazine where we will present these results and provide actionable insights and tools for you to use to build a better hygiene culture at your facility! 

Register for the Virtual Conference


Topics:Food Processing