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Are Tatoos on arms of Food Handlers allowed?

Food Safety ISO 22000

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#1 Sawad

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 03:03 PM

Hi ,

 

I am wondering is tatoo are allowed for food handlers on the arms. Is it a concern for food safety. I am talking about permenant tatoos ( not the sticker one).

 

 



#2 pHruit

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 03:09 PM

New tattoos could be viewed as a risk due to the potential to form scabs and peel, but an established tattoo shouldn't pose any more risk than any other exposed skin.



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#3 SQFconsultant

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 04:58 PM

Should not pose an issue, however...

 

New tatoos can leak ink and bad tatoo "artists" can leave openings in skin, scabs, etc.

 

Should be reviewed on a continuing basis.


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#4 Sawad

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 11:02 AM

In our recent ISO 22000 re-certification audit..the auditor pointed out the issue regarding some staff with tatoos on their hands & arms.



#5 GMO

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 11:05 AM

Hi ,

 

I am wondering is tatoo are allowed for food handlers on the arms. Is it a concern for food safety. I am talking about permenant tatoos ( not the sticker one).

 

The tattoos cannot fall off into product so yes, they're allowed and have been in every plant I've worked in.  If you brought in a no tattoo plant in the UK, you'd have no staff.



#6 Setanta

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 12:03 PM

The tattoos cannot fall off into product so yes, they're allowed and have been in every plant I've worked in.  If you brought in a no tattoo plant in the UK, you'd have no staff.

 

Ditto US.


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#7 zanorias

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 01:30 PM

Interesting topic. I've not come across a "no tattoo" rule as far as food hygiene goes and I can't see any issues with established tattoos. Though if fresh tattoos are prone to scabbing/peeling I guess this could be an issue under personal hygiene.

 

Some extracts from the FSA Food Handlers Fitness to Work guide: 

 

The law requires that in all food businesses other than those engaged in primary production (e.g. farmers and growers) and associated operations:

• “No person suffering from, or being a carrier of a disease likely to be transmitted through food or afflicted, for example, with infected wounds, skin infections, sores or diarrhoea is to be permitted to handle food or enter any food-handling area in any capacity if there is any likelihood of direct or indirect contamination.“

 

Some types of bacteria that cause food poisoning can also infect damaged skin and can be carried in the nose and throat.

 

Managers must exclude any person from food handling duties and food handling areas if they have an infection of the stomach or gut (demonstrated by them having the symptoms described in section 7) and/or if they have an area of infected skin that cannot be covered (as described in section 6 and 10). The length of the exclusion is usually 48 hours from when their symptoms stop

 

Infected or injured skin

Damaged skin or sores caused by injury or disease, e.g. boils and septic cuts, can become infected with bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause food poisoning.

https://www.food.gov...toworkguide.pdf

 

 

This study looked at bacterial loads on accessories and tattoos, though the language is not the best, and I'm unsure on whether by "recent tattoos" they mean a fresh tattoo or referring to the general presence of tattoos as a recent thing. Also coloured charts would have been ideal.

https://www.longdom....msh-1000105.pdf

 

I suppose it will stay under general personal hygiene for now although as tattoos are becoming more commonplace I wouldn't be surprised if BRC adds a risk assessment type requirement in future specifically relating to tattoos. Or perhaps an implementation will be driven by an incident that most didn't see coming. Insisting that food handlers are tattoo free though wouldn't be practical; as GMO says there wouldn't be many left! 



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#8 Andy_Yellows

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 01:33 PM

Should be fine but if there is any concern about flaking or scabs you would probably be best asking the operative to wear plastic oversleeves underneath their overalls. If nothing else at least you're taking an extra precaution


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#9 LesleySR

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 10:49 AM

In our recent ISO 22000 re-certification audit..the auditor pointed out the issue regarding some staff with tatoos on their hands & arms.

Many people working in the food industry have tattoos, if you (for some bizarre reason) decided to ban them you would probably have very few staff left in your factory.

I would be inclined to ask the auditor what risk he/she perceives are related to established tattoos.

It sounds very much like - even in the 21st century - this is a case of personal prejudice & a dislike of tattoos rather than a food safety issue?..



#10 MsMars

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 05:57 PM

In our recent ISO 22000 re-certification audit..the auditor pointed out the issue regarding some staff with tatoos on their hands & arms.

 

I'd be out of a job if this were the case.... along with about 75% of my staff. 

 

Fresh tattoos would probably fall under your facility's GMP guidelines on open wounds.  Otherwise, IMO healed tattoos are in no way a risk.  Do a risk assessment and present to the auditor. 


Edited by MsMars, 31 October 2019 - 05:57 PM.


#11 Sawad

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 01:27 PM

Thanks all of you for your comments. I have talked to all the staff and checked... there is no fresh tattoo ..all tattoos are more than 1 year old. I have talked to the auditor also. :spoton:







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