Food safety is key at Quality Catering for Kids, and a new, high-tech hand washing machine is enhancing the company's commitment to safe food handling.
It takes the guesswork out of hand washing and ensures sanitized hands from fingertips to wrists. Employees in the Quality Catering kitchen put their hands into rotating cylinders that provide a high-pressure, low-volume spray of water, sanitizer and moisturizer. In 12 seconds, hands--including underneath the fingernails--are cleansed.
The machine kills 99 percent of germs, and the cleaning solution continues to protect hands from germs for up to six hours.
Jordan Kaplan, Quality Catering's kitchen manager, says it uses 75 percent less water than sink hand washing does.
The health and safety of Quality Catering's employees is directly related to the health and safety of the children in the day care centers and pre-schools we serve, as well as the adults in the adult day care centers.
The hand washing machine complements the rigorous safe food handling procedures we follow daily. Quality Catering is the only such company in the region to have its kitchens voluntarily inspected every day by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure safe food handling. The company is deeply concerned about children's health and nutrition and relentless about safe food handling procedures.
Along with following the USDA and state and local health department regulations, Quality Catering has a Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points plan, which is designed to enhance food safety by identifying and eliminating potential sources of contamination, ensuring proper temperatures and defining sanitation procedures. All employees in the commissary are required to use the hand-washing machine.
The handwashing system and Quality Catering's other safe food handling procedures help prevent these bacteria and viruses from reaching the food and harming children:
--Bacteria E. coli, found in undercooked meat and seen in person-to-person transmission, especially among children in daycare.
--Staphylococcus aureus, found in cuts and nostrils. Bacteria--from not washing hands after sneezing or coughing, or letting open cuts come in contact with food--produces toxin that can cause flu-like symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and abdominal cramps.
--Hepatitis A virus, a fecal material, can contaminate food if employees don't wash their hands correctly after using the bathroom. It can cause fatigue, liver damage and even death.
What should parents do without a hand-washing machine to help them keep their own kids safe?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says keeping hands clean is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infection and disease. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community. The CDC recommends that people, including parents and day care workers, wash their hands:
---Before, during and after preparing food
--Before eating food
--Before and after caring for someone who is sick
--Before and after treating a cut or wounds
--After using the toilet
--After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
--After blowing your hose, coughing or sneezing
--After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
--After touching garbage
The CDC says this is the right way to wash your hands:
--Wet hands with warm or cold clean running water.
--Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub them well. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
--Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
--Rinse your hands well under running water.
--Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Quality Catering each day prepares and delivers 15,000 hot meals, breakfast and snack foods to child care centers, preschools, child development centers and adult day care centers in northern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin.
In Illinois, day care centers include those in Batavaia, Plainfield, Warrenville, Naperville, Aurora, Oswego, Chicago, Northlake, Lombard, Villa Park, Bellwood, Glen Ellen, Hines, Maywood, Westchester, Hillside, Melrose Park, River Forest, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Western Springs, LaGrange, Darien, Westmont and Lincolnwood.
Wisconsin day care centers are in Glendale, Milwaukee, West Allis, Menomonee Falls, Racine, South Milwaukee, Union Grove, Eagle, Elkhorn, Burlington, Muskego, Mukwonago and Wind Lake.
Call us at 888-356-7513 to see if we serve your community.
Or visit our website at http://www.QualityCateringforKids.com.
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Don't you wish you had one of these hand-washing machines in your own kitchen? Comment on this video below.