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Designing with hygiene in mind

01 August 2016

Drawing on the expertise of an in-house engineering design team, Sue Springett, commercial manager at Teknomek, offers some tips to help ensure you specify furniture that has been designed with hygiene in mind. 

1. Designed dirt traps – When an item is new, it is difficult to consider what it might look like after six months use in a food environment.  Always check for any ledges or folds where dirt or mould might collect.  If there are ledges, can you see drainage points to aid cleaning? When a BRC auditor looks underneath the cupboard, it isn’t just the floor that’s being checked!

2. Dirt traps from poor quality manufacture – Roughly finished products offer a good home for bugs and dirt. Look at the weld lines…smooth welds will attract less dirt and will be easier to thoroughly clean. If purchasing on-line, always check the close up images to see how good the welds are. If the catalogue/web page only has a drawing, then do ask yourself why. 

3. Function – So you think a sink is a sink. Wrong! As well as ensuring it is fit for purpose, always check out the number of unnecessary flat surfaces where water (and germs) could collect.  Look for a design where splashed water can easily drain away from an area where it should be not be congregating – especially by the sides and around the taps.  

4. Cleaning access – Well designed furniture and equipment can reduce the time spent cleaning by offering easier access. This may be the openness of the design (is it easy to get to the back/underneath), the number and scale of the dirt traps (secret ledges, additional folds) or unnecessary flat surfaces.  When choosing furniture for areas that require regular cleaning, always consider the on-going cleaning costs. 

5. Sealed ingresses – Water is not the only pest.  Well designed and made furniture should have no gaps or crevices for any little critters to creep into.  They don’t just like ledges, living inside can be attractive too. 

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