CleanTech® & Sole Clean vs Disposable Shoe Coverings for Food Safety
Many food processing companies use disposable shoe coverings for low moisture production environments since they appear to be a simple, cost-effective solution to keeping both moisture and pathogens off production area floors. However, when compared to CleanTech® Automated Handwashing Stations with Sole Clean footwear enhancements, there is a clear winner. CleanTech® with Sole Clean removes more than 99.9% of pathogens from both hands and footwear and works quicker than traditional hygiene methods so that more employees can make their way through hygiene zones faster.
Disposable Shoe Coverings Do Not Remove Pathogens
When an employee puts on a disposable shoe cover, they only end up placing a barrier over their footwear rather than thoroughly cleaning the shoes. While proper procedures mandate that only clean footwear is to be used in a food production facility, this isn’t always a guarantee.
CleanTech® with the Sole Clean footwear enhancement fills two needs with one deed. While employees are utilizing the hand washing system to properly remove pathogens from their hands, their footwear is also getting 12 seconds of guaranteed contact time with hygiene solution in the footwear sanitizing pan that automatically maintains necessary PPM for food safety requirements. Once the 12 seconds of simultaneous hand and footwear cleaning with CleanTech® is complete, the hygiene solution quickly evaporates off footwear and employees are free to enter production zones without any types of shoe coverings.
Disposable Shoe Coverings and Cross-Contamination
It matters when an employee washes their hands in a hygiene zone, especially if they are going to be donning shoe coverings. If an employee washes their hands before putting on their shoe coverings, they could potentially be exposing their clean hands to pathogens from their footwear.
With CleanTech® and Sole Clean, once again the simultaneous process of both footwear sole cleaning and hand washing eliminates this problem entirely. The CleanTech® hand wash itself is triggered by a photo-eye sensor that detects when an employee placed their hands in the cylinders making the entire process touch free. Food safety and compliance managers no longer need to monitor when and for how long employees are washing their hands.
Disposable Shoe Coverings Are Not Sustainable
Although the convenience of disposable shoe covers for footwear hygiene is clearly apparent, it does come at a larger environmental price. A food processing facility can go through hundreds of PPE shoe covers during a shift and these covers all eventually end up in the garbage. This contributes a significant amount of waste to landfills, which can take decades to break down and decompose.
CleanTech® with Sole Clean does not contribute to any unnecessary landfill waste and even helps to conserve water since hand washing times are cut in half. CleanTech® uses only 0.6 gallons of water during each hand hygiene event. Plus, during an automated hand wash, every drop of water is used to ensure proper pathogen removal. No water is wasted just going down the drain.
Disposable Shoe Coverings and Employee Safety
When it comes to employee health and safety, shoe coverings can pose a serious risk during the processes of donning and doffing. While proper donning and doffing guidelines most likely mandate that employees must be sitting down, this isn’t always the case. Employees can often try to put on and take off shoe covering while balancing on one leg if they’re in a hurry or if there is not enough available seating. This can quickly lead to loss of balance and increase the risk of falls in hygiene zones.
Another safety risk that comes with shoe coverings is the lack of tread on the coverings themselves. If an employee were to accidentally step on a slippery area of the floor, there would be little to no help from their footwear to prevent them from falling and potentially injuring themselves. Plant managers must therefore ensure that any spills or water leaks are promptly cleaned to ensure their team’s safety.
Facilities that utilize CleanTech® and Sole Clean don’t have to worry about exposing their employees to these types of risks. The footwear sanitizing solution used in the Sole Clean pan is an alcohol based, fast-evaporating formula that dries quickly after an employee steps off the pan. Additionally, since employees are getting more than 99.9% of pathogens off of their footwear while standing in the Sole Clean pan while washing their hands in the CleanTech® system, they can wear footwear that has proper tread to avoid any slips in the production areas or hygiene zones.
There is no question that CleanTech® Automated Handwashing Stations make the process of cleaning hands and footwear easier, safer, and better for employees working in food processing. Facilities like Pecan Deluxe that have made the switch to automated hygiene with footwear enhancements have noticed that hygiene compliance has increased and that their facilities are safer as a result.