The right setup for good personal hygiene in the greenhouse horticulture sector

personal hygiene in the greenhouse horticulture sector

To keep unwanted bacteria, viruses and mould outside your greenhouse, good personal hygiene is clearly very important. By setting up an effective Personal Hygiene area at the entrance to the greenhouse, employees automatically deal with this in the right way.

Before your employees enter the greenhouse, you naturally want to make sure that they are as free as possible from bacteria, viruses and mould that could pose a hazard to the crop. Rules and regulations in the area of hygiene are necessary for this. In order for everyone who enters the greenhouse to follow the proper protocol, it is important to carefully consider how the Personal Hygiene area will be set up. This is where employees will change their shoes and possibly their clothes as well as wash and disinfect their hands and the soles of their shoes.

Dirty versus clean

It is important for shoes that come in from ‘outside’ to be kept separate from the work shoes that are worn inside the greenhouses. This can be done by setting up ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ zones in the Personal Hygiene area that can be separated from each other by a bench, a gate or a door. In the dirty zone, the outdoor shoes are taken off and stored. Next, the work shoes are put on in the clean zone. Before the employee enters the greenhouse, he or she walks wearing the work shoes through a disinfection bath to prevent the introduction of bacteria, viruses and mould.

Cleaning shoes

When the employee leaves the greenhouse again, he or she will enter the clean zone again via the hygiene lock. In the lock, the dirt is cleaned off the shoes by a sole cleaner with brushes that are sprayed with water containing detergent and the correct concentration of disinfectant. Thorough disinfecting is not required because no bacteria or viruses are able to cling to the shoes. After all, these are only worn internally.

In the clean zone of the hygiene area, the shoes (or boots) are placed in special boot storage racks after use. The shoes are dried here from the inside out with air. It is also possible to automatically treat the shoes on this rack with ozone. This kills bacteria, viruses and mould and neutralises odours. After the indoor shoes have been stored, the employee can enter the dirty zone again and put on his or her outdoor shoes. 

Washing and disinfecting hands

If the Personal Hygiene area is equipped with a SANICARE hygiene lock, the employee is automatically required to wash and disinfect his or her hands before being allowed to enter the greenhouse. In principle, the hands are always disinfected at the same time as the soles of the shoes.

If you decide not to opt for a complete SANICARE hygiene lock – e.g. for reasons of cost – then it is a good idea to install the manually operated or contactless soap dispenser – preferably with access gate – a few metres from the sinks. The time taken to walk from the soap dispenser to the sink allows the soap to work properly.

No-obligation advice

Because the situation and available space differs in each business, it is a good idea to see what the specific possibilities are for your company. Elpress can give you targeted advice on this. Would you also like to set up your hygiene area effectively? Then get in touch with us for a no-obligation, tailor-made recommendation.

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Wout Spanjers

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