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Does our bathroom sink, soap dispenser, and towel dispenser need to be touchless?

bathroom sink touchless towel dispenser

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PlantPerks

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 12:01 AM

Hello!

 

Silly question, but I am wondering does our bathroom sink, soap dispenser, and towel dispenser need to be touchless?

Our sink and towel dispensers in the production area are touchless, but the soap is not? Should the soap be touchless as well? Will we get docked points on our audit if it is not?

 

Thanks in advance for your guys help

 



SQFconsultant

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 01:01 AM

Which standard are you operating under?


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zoelawton

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 09:18 AM

We don't have touch-less soap dispensers in bathrooms or production areas and have never been penalized for it. 

 

Our bathroom sinks are not touch-less, simply taps, i think this doesn't matter because staff are to wash hands again on entry to production areas, and for the non touch-less soap dispensers, you wash your hands after you've touched the soap dispenser anyway.

 

Just my thoughts out loud. 



PROFFESSORFRINK

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 10:18 AM

We operate to BRC at my facility. We have never recieved a NC for not having contactless in the bathrooms/chaning facilities. However we did recieve a NC a few years ago for having a non contactless sink in production (which we have since changed). Hope this helps.



zanorias

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 10:33 AM

It's not a silly question, I can see the logic in your thinking, but indeed your standard and/or customer requirements should specify. In general I'd expect hands-free operating taps in and on access to production.
Regarding soap I agree with Zoe - hands will then be washed with said soap.



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kettlecorn

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 12:35 PM

In principle, touchless is always better, but in practice it depends. As zanorias and zoe have said, it depends upon what standard or customer requirements you are operating under, at least as far as the audit goes. I personally am not convinced touchless soap is always necessary when cGMPs are being followed because, for instance, you may still have to touch the door handle to exit the bathroom. If hands were washed correctly and the handle is cleaned regularly, I don't see the difference. 

 

Touchless towel dispensers, on the other hand, seem to me rather critical, regardless.



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kettlecorn

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 01:08 PM

I should add the reason I think towel dispensers should necessarily be touchless is that, in terms of risk assessment, I have never seen a facility that doesn't have doors or door handles to the bathroom, the way airports or many public libraries are designed (so that you have to go through an open entrance separated by division or turn). You may not easily be able to do away with the stainless steel door handle, but you can easily do away with the plastic arm of the towel dispenser that gets wet often and is hard to clean and shouldn't really be there anyway. 


Edited by kettlecorn, 21 May 2020 - 01:17 PM.


The Food Scientist

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 02:15 PM

Good practice should be in place if you wish to go touchless. 

 

For example if you have a non-touchless sink, you will turn it on with your hands, wash with soap and water, get paper towels, dry your hands and turn off sink with the paper towel u have in your hands as to not touch the contaminated sink you touched before washing hands. 

 

But touchless, especially given our current situation with the disease, would be the best option, with repeated disinfection.

 

Audit wise, nobody has ever pointed it out as critical. 


Edited by The Food Scientist, 21 May 2020 - 02:16 PM.

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Charles.C

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 04:15 PM

In some Locations  touch-free sinks are a Regulatory issue. The other items IMEX tend to be non-specific.

 

IIRC above is also on the Regulatory FS list for 3rd World Countries wishing to export food to EU.


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zanorias

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 07:05 PM

For example if you have a non-touchless sink, you will turn it on with your hands, wash with soap and water, get paper towels, dry your hands and turn off sink with the paper towel u have in your hands as to not touch the contaminated sink you touched before washing hands.

Works in theory, less so for cubicle toilets with sinks inside when the food safety culture is far from positive. Hence I use another paper towel after drying to then unlock the door to exit. Alas...a challenge ahead -_-



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mgourley

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 10:24 PM

As said above, depends on what FS Standard/Regulatory you fall under.

 

If it is not required, it depends on what cost you want to incur. We are not required to have touch free paper towel dispensers, so we use the ones that "advance" a partial towel when they are pulled out. 
We have used touch free towel dispensers in the past, but the cost of batteries is crazy. 

We do use touch free soap and sanitizer dispensers, although since we can't currently get refill cartridges for sanitizer, so we have installed wall mounted pump action dispensers for that.

 

If you use a touch hand soap dispenser, and then wash your hands, then use a touch paper towel dispenser, then use a touch hand sanitizer dispenser, I don't think there is much risk there. 

 

Marshall







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