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Headwear (Caps to protect from Cold environment) in Food Processing


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mapry2

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:00 PM

Hi Folks,

 

I need you expert advice on this issue. We are a ready to eat fruits and vegetable repacking facility and SQF 2000 Level 2 certified.

 

Our production rooms are maintained at ≤ 8° C so the frozen fruits does not thaw during repacking.

 

Because it is a cold environment, we provide headwear as attached in the pic here ( winter caps) to our employees and they put on the hairnet on top of the headwear.

 

 

0063_new.jpg

 

 

 

However some guys are complaining this does not protect their neck and face. They wanted something like this (Pic as below) which gives them proper protection. I do not feel comfortable with this design as there is no way this will hold a hairnet.

 

My question is :

 

1) Can I use this types of headwear ( Pic as below)

 

2) Once all the hairs are covered with the new design, do they still need to have a hairnet ?

 

3) How can they put on a hairnet on top of this new Headwear.

 

 

0057_new.jpg

 

Thanks in advance for all your inputs.

 



Snookie

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 11:12 PM

I have seen several styles that will work over this.

 

The below is not my favorite, but would have to do some searching to find it as my current location does not require this kind of coverage and have not used them for quite awhile.  My favorite is a tyvek type of material that pulls over leaving only the eyes exposed. 

 

https://www.bunzlpd....t=990133&page=1


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SQFconsultant

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 02:24 AM

SQF requires some type of effective hair "covering" one of which could be a hairnet. I am assuming that someone along the way told you that you had to have hairnets on top of the caps, with  that in mind and assuming that you do a risk analysis to ensure that the full covering doesn't itself present a risk to product (fraying, lint, stuff sticking to it, etc) you would not need a haircut or a full net to cover the entire item in the second photo.

 

I am not understanding the hairnet over the top of first cap, but I'm sure there's an interesting reason for that.


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GMO

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 09:14 AM

Oh FFS, people work in freezer rooms without full face coverings!

 

Absolutely have woolly hats under the mob cap because then an item which isn't changed every day is fully covered.  Full face covering with a balaclava?  No.  Man the F. up.


Edited by GMO, 04 March 2014 - 09:15 AM.


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Setanta

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 01:35 PM

Good grief, how long have you spent at -15F?  After a while it gets cold for anyone. Some people want a face covering and some do not.  Also what makes you think that everyone working in a freezer is a man? 

 

Man up indeed!  :shutup:

 

Edited to Add, we have our people wear hairnets over the stocking caps and beard nets over any beards. If they are clean shaven and have a cap with a neck protector, they don't wear a beard net.

 

Setanta

 

 


Edited by Setanta, 04 March 2014 - 01:38 PM.

-Setanta         

 

 

 


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mapry2

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 02:57 PM

Thanks Snookie, GOC, GMO and Setanta.

 

The reason we use a hairnet over the headwear as there additional food safety risk if those are not cleaned properly. To avoid all these additional documentation and risk, we decided to make compulsory hair net.

 

I have also another issue if the hair net does not stick well on the headwear. Once it fell off from one of our employees and ended up getting in to a customer. I know it might sound silly, but we can not ignore this aspect.

 

So I was wondering how should I proceed on this.



trubertq

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:27 AM

Can we please treat each other with respect and courtesy?

 

If someone is asking a question on here it's because they need advice not a lecture on the manliness or otherwise of their employees. 


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fgjuadi

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 12:00 PM

The full face mask is a little scary.  Are you stuffing blood diamonds into frozen turkeys? Robbing outdoor banks in the Anartic?

I agree it's too much - if employees are uncomfortable in the cold environment, CCOSH has work/Warm Up schedules and protective PPE suggestions for extreme temperatures -

http://www.ccohs.ca/...ld_working.html


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Snookie

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 04:37 PM

I have also another issue if the hair net does not stick well on the headwear. Once it fell off from one of our employees and ended up getting in to a customer. I know it might sound silly, but we can not ignore this aspect.

 

So I was wondering how should I proceed on this.

Then you will most likely want the pull over kind that will not come off easily.  They are a bit more expensive but also probably more durable than the link I showed you. 


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cazyncymru

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 04:42 PM

I was recently asked by an auditor to look at a different type of overshoe that we allocate to visitors going around the factory as she didn't like the ones we had (her stiletto heel went through it!)

 

The alternative she suggested were more than £8 a pair! Cheaper to buy her a pair of wellies!

 

The joys of PPE!!

 

Caz x



Marshenko

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:55 PM

Who in the holy heck wears a stiletto heel to a food plant audit?



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Posted 05 March 2014 - 07:38 PM

I used to work in a company that dealt with fresh RTE salads and fruit (very cold environment). We provided the employees with insulated jackets and head wear (worn over hair nets). The jackets and head coverings had a procedure for being kept clean and we did a risk analysis to ensure the jackets and head wear did not in anyway present a risk to product.Never had an issue with the auditor.



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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:46 PM

Hello, I too have questions about head protection. Our food processing is a cold wet environment. The employees wear smocks, hair nets and beard nets. They also wear hoodies under the smock and pull over their head to cover their neck from the cold. They always have worn the hair net with the hoodie pulled up over top of it. We are BRC certified and it was at our last years audit that it was recommended; by the auditor, that a hair net be worn on the head as well as on the hoodie, or wool cap in some cases.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Anyone have any comments?

We are scheduled for our next BRC audit in 5 weeks and we would like to challenge this.

Thanks!



Marshenko

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:53 PM

I've heard that as well - I allow the employees here to wear a knit cap provided it is reasonably tight fitting and they wear a hair net both underneath and over the knit cap.  I don't allow baseball caps or hoods as they can't be fully covered by a hair net.



mapry2

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:17 PM

Head wear worn over hair nets ?????



AnitaC

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 06:47 PM

Yes, the BRC rational for the hair net OVER the baseball cap/wool cap or hoodie is that these items are  "personal clothing" and pose the potential of a contamination source. Not part of a "uniform" and  then the cleaning of such, being "controlled".  Hair nets must still be worn over the hair regardless.  Past practice here has been ball caps and hoodie allowed, no hair net over. Last year I implemented the hair net over the personal head gear as a result of the BRC recommendation. However, 2 hair nets increases your inventory and hence, cost. I was just putting the question out there to see if anyone else has encountered the same issue.

Thanks for any and all feedback.



lkosler

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:09 PM

Great comments - Does the company launder the headgear or does the employee? Do the workers use the same headgear multiple days in a row or do they pick up a fresh laundered headgear before each shift? 

 

In terms of risk assessments; an additional piece of equipment (hairnet) on top of the protective headgear may be a contamination risk.  If the headgear reduces the likelihood of workers hair falling into the process to an acceptable level - is the extra measure of a hairnet further reducing the likelihood of hair contaminating the process or is the hairnet itself posing a risk of contamination?

 

It is worth looking into the cost of having the headgear laundered and issued before each shift?  I'm not sure hairnets are providing additional protection in this case.

 

You will also look at the ways in which the headgear is put on and removed.  It must be on before going into processing area and must be removed outside of processing area.  You do not want to have the headgear application and removal within the processing area.



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GMO

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:16 AM

Apologies for the man up comment but working at <8oC, full face protection is not needed (for men or otherwise).  My suggestion is to tell people this is reasonable to supply head wear for putting under mob caps but full face covering is not reasonable, it's excessive and if they don't like working in a cold (not -15) environment, they could look for a role elsewhere.  We have staff working in 2 degrees who are not unhappy wearing woolly hats and mob caps only.  My point was, in admittedly rude short hand, it's a management issue, not a food hygiene one.



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FS System

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:12 PM

I would think that as long as the risk analysis is well documented and the cleaning protocols of the caps are defined and supported by validation data such as microbial swab analysis of the headgear, these should be acceptable. 



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cazyncymru

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:22 PM

We allow certain types of head wear, not WOOLY hats or baseball caps, and most definitely not hoodies.

 

The hats we have do not shed any fibres, but we still insist that the hat is totally covered by a hair net. If a hoodie is worn, then the hood has to be inside the persons PPE.

 

I'm with GMO on this one, there's no need for anyone working in a chill environment to need a full face covering or balaclava. It may be different in a freezer, but I'm sure there are Health & Safety regulations on PPE and how long you can stay in there without a break

 

Caz x



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Snookie

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:29 PM

Apologies for the man up comment but working at <8oC, full face protection is not needed (for men or otherwise).  My suggestion is to tell people this is reasonable to supply head wear for putting under mob caps but full face covering is not reasonable, it's excessive and if they don't like working in a cold (not -15) environment, they could look for a role elsewhere.  We have staff working in 2 degrees who are not unhappy wearing woolly hats and mob caps only.  My point was, in admittedly rude short hand, it's a management issue, not a food hygiene one.

 

It can depend on your climate.  I am in the American Southwest where 140C would be pretty cold for us.  Our summer temperatures easily run 40-450 C ambient (I have gotten in my car in the summer and the internal thermometer was reading 54+ 0 C in the shade).  While we can get some freezing temperatures in the dead of winter at night, for the most part we average around 20 0 C, so most of us consider the temperatures your talking about freaking cold! 


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Jessika

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:27 AM

When we were a tiny company, we wore hoodies over our hairnets to keep our necks warm. An auditor pointed out to us that this wasn't the best thing to do and so Management came up with balaclavas as a suitable alternative. The balaclavas are theoretically a fantastic idea-  company issued and subject to the same conditions as all other protective wear - they stay on site and get laundered daily or more frequently if needed. We do not require staff wearing a company issued balaclava to wear a hair net. However, I never see any in the laundry and they seem to be only worn by the same members of staff who think that the headphone rule doesn't apply to them. They know I can't see the headphones under the balaclava during production but seem to forget that they are visible during breaks! So they're on my list of things to be abolished. ^_^   



JMiller

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 01:59 PM

Any exposed clothing should have an effective cleaning program...........

 

............can you perform a risk assessment and determine little to no risk??



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Posted 28 March 2014 - 06:11 PM

Interesting topic folks.

We have a couple of areas that use touques and neck warmers for protection from the cold.  My first thought is the hair net over the touque, our staff are required to have the hairnet under the touque, we are BRC certified and it has never been mentioned.  But good points are made when it come to keeping them clean and I will do some inquiring about this.

Second we supply all required clothing to staff bringing in coats, gloves or touques from home is a NO! NO!. So we can maintatin control.

Finally hoodie may be worn to keep warm but that hood must remain under the supplied work wear at all times as potential contaminants are not welcome in the facility.






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