Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo

What are the guidelines regarding wearing surgical masks in restrooms?

covid masks

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 d guy

d guy

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 27 posts
  • 2 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Israel
    Israel

Posted 21 April 2020 - 08:00 AM

Hi all,

obviously, hairnets and coats are off limits in smoking areas, caffeteria, restrooms etc.

what are the guidelines regarding surgical masks.

obviously you can't smoke or eat with them. what about restrooms?

i don't want the workers to touch the masks at all, and not mess with them.

i don't the masks to get polluted, and i don't want to waste them too easily, since they are in high demand.

should workers put their masks off before entering the toilet? should they hang them like their disposable clothing? 

should they keep them on their faces and not touch the masks even when using the toilet?

 



#2 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,393 posts
  • 4841 thanks
944
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 23 April 2020 - 06:20 PM

Hi all,

obviously, hairnets and coats are off limits in smoking areas, caffeteria, restrooms etc.

what are the guidelines regarding surgical masks.

obviously you can't smoke or eat with them. what about restrooms?

i don't want the workers to touch the masks at all, and not mess with them.

i don't the masks to get polluted, and i don't want to waste them too easily, since they are in high demand.

should workers put their masks off before entering the toilet? should they hang them like their disposable clothing? 

should they keep them on their faces and not touch the masks even when using the toilet?

 

It might help to give some context, eg product, process ?

 

From pre-COVID experience of face masks, hooks on walls outside restrooms can be useful.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 majoy

majoy

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 228 posts
  • 83 thanks
55
Excellent

  • Canada
    Canada
  • Gender:Female

Posted 23 April 2020 - 06:31 PM

Pre-covid, masks used are disposable and can be replaced anytime. However, due to shortages, we don't want people to be using as much.

 

I think keeping them on during trip to restrooms is most logical here.

 

Coats,aprons, arm sleeves  are removed when using the restroom because it might get contaminated by dirty surfaces inside the restroom (walls, toilet bowls, etc.), but there is very little contamination point for facemask inside the restroom if the employee keeps it on and the employee does not touch it - think about hairnet, do you ask employees to remove hairnet when they use the restrooms?


"Whatever you do, do it well..." - Walt Disney


#4 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,393 posts
  • 4841 thanks
944
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 23 April 2020 - 08:33 PM

IMO Safety before cost.

 

If hairnets are the reference, can try -

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...stroom-allowed/

https://www.ifsqn.co...ets-in-toilets/

https://www.ifsqn.co...g-the-bathroom/


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 SQFconsultant

SQFconsultant

    SQFconsultant

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,090 posts
  • 788 thanks
652
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Truth is like a delicious slice of watermelon... you just want more and more!

Posted 24 April 2020 - 01:01 PM

Just like you would not wear a hairnet into a lunch room, going outside or going into a restroom etc you would apply the same to an EMF or regular facemask.


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
GOC GROUP / +1.772.646.4115 / Food - Food Packaging - Food Storage/DC

SQF, BRC & IFS System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants

Serving Small-to-Mid-Size Businesses | Now accepting: BTC, XRP, ETH, DAI, USDCoin & LTC

Internal Auditor Training | eConsultant | FSVP | United States - Panama - Costa Rica

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  -- 

 

 

Red October? Possibly - more like Green

Get the GOC C-CUR Guide (PDF)

https://bit.ly/36hW9Z2

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#6 zanorias

zanorias

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 757 posts
  • 218 thanks
140
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Motorcycling, Food Safety, Science, Water Sports, Nature

Posted 24 April 2020 - 02:05 PM

do you ask employees to remove hairnet when they use the restrooms?

 

Absolutely yes.

 

Coats,aprons, arm sleeves  are removed when using the restroom because it might get contaminated by dirty surfaces inside the restroom (walls, toilet bowls, etc.), but there is very little contamination point for facemask inside the restroom if the employee keeps it on and the employee does not touch it 

 

I think the key thing here is the difference between theory and reality. Yes in theory something worn on the head shouldn't directly touch surfaces, but in reality we know that people do subconsciously touch their face and head a lot. So you could have someone sitting on the toilet doing their business having touched the toilet seat, walls etc, and then scratch their head and contaminate the hairnet. The same head scratching could then re-contaminate the hands inside the production facility. Plus maybe there is potentially for airbourne contamination from flushing or over-excited urinal users - just theorising, unless anyone has validated with an airplate :rolleyes:

Also monitoring is difficult since CCTV cannot be placed inside cubicles, so who knows what happens to Bob's hairnet whilst he is in there.

 

I'd apply the same logic to masks. I empathise with employee protection aspects of the masks, but I think we do need to also consider the impact on our established food safety procedures and whether it is worth the compromise.


Edited by zanorias, 24 April 2020 - 02:06 PM.


#7 FurFarmandFork

FurFarmandFork

    Food Safety Consultant, Production Supervisor

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,264 posts
  • 576 thanks
170
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon, USA

Posted 27 April 2020 - 05:39 PM

I maintain that if I'm allowed to take my face and hair into the restroom, the hairnet can also go in.

 

Anything else is a theoretical risk assessment designed to make things look good without having a real effect on safety. It does have value in teaching employees to recognize "dirty" and "clean" spaces however. So whatever works for you.


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

#8 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,393 posts
  • 4841 thanks
944
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 28 April 2020 - 01:41 AM

I maintain that if I'm allowed to take my face and hair into the restroom, the hairnet can also go in.

 

Anything else is a theoretical risk assessment designed to make things look good without having a real effect on safety. It does have value in teaching employees to recognize "dirty" and "clean" spaces however. So whatever works for you.

 

Hi 3F,

 

I suppose this is one reason Companies make Policies.:smile:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 Setanta

Setanta

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,134 posts
  • 288 thanks
182
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Reading: historical fiction, fantasy, Sci-Fi
    Movies
    Gardening
    Birding

Posted 28 April 2020 - 12:30 PM

I maintain that if I'm allowed to take my face and hair into the restroom, the hairnet can also go in.

 

Anything else is a theoretical risk assessment designed to make things look good without having a real effect on safety. It does have value in teaching employees to recognize "dirty" and "clean" spaces however. So whatever works for you.

 

My feelings are similar in that hairnets are worn to keep hair in place, not sanitary.

Since restrooms are some of the most confined spaces in production facilities, I think they should be kept on.


-Setanta         

 

 

 


#10 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,393 posts
  • 4841 thanks
944
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 28 April 2020 - 04:30 PM

My feelings are similar in that hairnets are worn to keep hair in place, not sanitary.

Since restrooms are some of the most confined spaces in production facilities, I think they should be kept on.

 

Hi Setanta,

 

I agree it's debatable like so many employee "wearings" (masks, snoods, rings, perfume etc) however IMEX of customers finding hairs in one's product, the frequently first query is addressed to their categorisation of basic hygiene requirements, ie do the workers wear hairnets ?

(it's mentioned "where appropriate"  in cfr 110 within GMP).


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#11 Setanta

Setanta

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,134 posts
  • 288 thanks
182
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Reading: historical fiction, fantasy, Sci-Fi
    Movies
    Gardening
    Birding

Posted 28 April 2020 - 05:28 PM

Hi Setanta,

 

I agree it's debatable like so many employee "wearings" (masks, snoods, rings, perfume etc) however IMEX of customers finding hairs in one's product, the frequently first query is addressed to their categorisation of basic hygiene requirements, ie do the workers wear hairnets ?

(it's mentioned "where appropriate"  in cfr 110 within GMP).

 

 

I think you misunderstand me, Charles. I agree that hairnets are necessary. I just don't think taking one off and placing a new one on each time someone visits a bathroom is required.

 

In fact, I'd say it runs the risk of MORE hair being dislodged and spread around.


-Setanta         

 

 

 


#12 zanorias

zanorias

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 757 posts
  • 218 thanks
140
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Motorcycling, Food Safety, Science, Water Sports, Nature

Posted 28 April 2020 - 06:02 PM

I agree that hairnets are designed to reduce hair foreign bodies rather than be strictly sanitary, and perhaps removing them and putting on new ones does dislodge hair - though if they are last off and first on it would be minimal.
However, the risk of pathogenic or other contamination of the hairnet in the toilets which then goes into production where operatives will likely touch their hairnet during shift outweighs the cost/hair argument for me. I'd much rather explain to an auditor why we don't allow hairnets in the toilets than why we do. Indeed a fresh new face and hair when re-entering production would be ideal hygiene-wise, if only possible. At the end of the day we can only take measures to reduce various contamination based on reason.
I suppose this is one of those gloves/no gloves type of topics :smile:



#13 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,393 posts
  • 4841 thanks
944
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 29 April 2020 - 03:00 AM

I think you misunderstand me, Charles. I agree that hairnets are necessary. I just don't think taking one off and placing a new one on each time someone visits a bathroom is required.

 

In fact, I'd say it runs the risk of MORE hair being dislodged and spread around.

 

Hi Setanta,

 

No doubt the debate will continue, both semantically and operationally, eg -

 

Attached File  sample GMP-Sanitation Policy.png   584.66KB   1 downloads


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

EV SSL Certificate