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What hygiene measures do I have to take when entering a greenhouse?

Upon entering a greenhouse you often see a hygiene station where you can disinfect your hands, and after that you can enter the greenhouse. It is often thought that the disinfection of hands is enough to make hands free of bacteria and prevent contamination of the crop, but this is not true. But actually hygiene would have to go much further. It does not stop at just the disinfection of hands. In this article, our experts explain proper and complete hygiene when entering a horticultural company. 

Clean first, then disinfect

The key point in this story is that you should realize that cleaning and disinfecting are two separate concepts, but for a proper hygiene practice cannot be seen from each other. In order to disinfect your hands, they must first be cleaned properly. By cleaning hands with soap, you remove the existing layer of dirt and grease. Because you remove this layer, a disinfectant can then reach the persistent bacteria on the hands. If you do not clean your hands first, the disinfectant can’t reach them; a disinfectant cannot get through this layer. 

Hygiene station

When bacteria or other plant pathogens get in to the crop, this could cause major problems. To avoid this, you want to create a hygienic situation so that employees or other visitors cant spread these organisms in the crop. For optimal hygiene, you can make the best use of a complete hygiene station. Where you go through the following steps. Wash hands with soap, dry the hands, disinfect the hands, clean de soles and disinfect the soles.

Please note that these five steps ensure optimal hygiene, but depending on your goals, hygiene steps can also be omitted. 

Hygiënemaatregelen bij binnenkomst op een glastuinbouwbedrijf

1. Soaping Hands

The first step is the soaping of the hands. For soaping, you can choose individual dispensers beside the sink, but also for a unit that soaps hands. The advantage of a unit is that persons are ‘forced’ to soap their hands, because the unit is equipped with a turnstile and will not open until after soaping, so you can’t skip this step. This reduces the possibility of the penetration of bacteria in the crop. 

2. Washing and drying hands

After soaping of the hands, it must be washed in the sink. By washing your hands, remove the grease and dirt. To do this as well as possible, you need to wash your hands according to the protocol. You can optionally choose to fix this protocol to the sinks. Then make sure you dry your hands well. This is the fastest with the aid of an automatic hand dryer. 

3. Disinfecting hands

When the grease and dirt layer is removed, you can disinfect your hands. For this you can choose individual dispensers or a unit. The advantage of a hygienic gateway is that the hands are disinfected with the aid of nozzles that automatically spray on the top and the bottom of the hands with disinfectant. 

4. Cleansing sole

For the shoe soles the same applies as for the hands, first they need to be cleaned, and then disinfected. Cleaning the shoe happens when someone walks on the bristles of a unit. 

5. Disinfecting soles

In order to remove the bacteria from the soles of shoes, the soles can be disinfected after cleaning. This is especially important for persons come inside the company with shoes they also wear outside; they can take different bacteria from the outside to the crop.

Hygiene measures when leaving the greenhouse

In addition to hygiene upon entering the greenhouse, it’s also important to think about hygiene when leaving the greenhouse. For example, do you want your employees to wash their hands and disinfect, or that they clean their shoes before going on a break? By thinking about this in advance, the units can be tailored to your preferences. Of course, our specialists advise you on the possibilities and necessities for your situation. 

Maintenance

When you take all the steps above, you are not there yet. Obviously a well begun is half done, but to ensure that the hygiene concept provides the best possible result, you will need to perform adequate maintenance, particularly cleaning the hygiene station. A clean unit sees to the best cleaning: When you shower you don’t clean yourself with a dirty towel. 

More information on hygiene

A hygiene concept is tailor-made. This depends on the hygiene objectives at a particular location. Our specialist can advise you on the best solution for you situation. If you want more information about the required hygiene when entering your business, or you want an advice? Please fill out the contact form below. Our specialists will get in touch with you – on week days even within 24 hours. 
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