- Image by bmann via Flickr
Recently I wrote a post on hand washing
which brought several good questions about off-premise hand washing.
On-premise events always have plenty of hand washing sinks.
Where as off-premise events are usually held in parks, beaches, fields, historical venues, etc. Often off-premise sites have limited or no running water for hand washing by the staff while working.
Once at a large bridal show event where several caterers were showing off food, presentation and serving skills — the local Health Department Inspectors arrived and began writing tickets because the caterers and their temporary kitchens did not have adequate hand washing facilities. Bummer.
The Inspectors wrote tickets for other infractions such using plastic milk crates for various purposes, other than the “specific intended use” of carrying dairy products for a certain local dairy. Major ouch for a few more.
I was lucky, becoming new a “BFF” with the adjoining kitchen by lending them a spare propane tank when their tank went empty – they in turn shared their make shift hand washing station when the Inspectors arrived to visit us. Whew that was a close one.
This situation got me to thinking and researching. What do other caterers do for hand washing? So I asked around.
Some caterers drag a garden hose along with a shut off valve. Most I found didn’t do anything — hoping for the best. I heard comments such as, We always wear latex gloves. You got to be kidding. Gee we never thought about it and when you find a solution tell me.” Gross…
Some make their staff wear latex gloves all the time during the event. You must remind the packing crew to pack extra gloves and encourage staff to change gloves often. Some catering staffs actually believed that latex gloves don’t collect germs, bacteria, or viruses. One staff member remarked, “They use them at hospitals so they got to be safe around food.”
The following week I “duck taped” an old metal folding paper towel dispenser around a Cambro Insulated Beverage Carrier. I grabbed a pump bottle of hand soap, some extra folding paper towels and a five gallon bucket to dump-drain into.
The make shift assembly was functional and worked pretty well. I received several teasing comments for the duck taped look. However overwhelming supporting comments came from staff on how nice it was to be able to wash their hands. A week later I found a better solution!
Cambro Hand Washing Unit
Hand Washing Station Solution
The simple solution is the unit created by Cambro. If you already use their insulated beverage transports, you simply add the hand washing accessory unit ($140.00) atop of the beverage carrier. See picture above.
Next add warm water, a soft scrub brush, a five gallon dump bucket, paper towels, and hand washing soap and you’re ready to launch an all out offensive against the spread of germs, bacteria, viruses and illness! It really doesn’t make difference what kind of hand washing station you create, so long as you have one.
On very big or lengthy events with a large staff, bring extra paper towels, perhaps two carriers and some extra or back up warm water, such as extra carriers or a two gallon pot to warm up extra water. Plan ahead as you may have to bring the back up washing water also.
Be sure to pass the word to the staff – keeping the “NETMA Badges” to a minimum. This small incremental lift in attention to details will pay off in many ways besides reducing the spread of germs.
Remember: Proper hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of germs, bacteria and viruses — so wash hands often!