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

Greenhouse hygiene is very important. 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. Actually hygiene would have to go much further. It does not stop at just the disinfection of hands. In this article, our experts give greenhouse hygiene solutions by explaining proper and complete hygiene when entering a horticultural company.

Cleaning and desinfecting your hands

The key point in this article 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 of dirt and grease.

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 can't spread these bacteria in the crop. With a hygiene station you ensure the best possible hygiene in the greenhouse. With the hygiene station, you go through five steps: wash hands with soap, dry the hands, disinfect the hands, clean shoe soles and disinfect shoe soles.

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

hygiene station in walking route

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.

Different types of hygiene stations

In addition to hygiene when entering the greenhouse, it is also important to think about hygiene when leaving the greenhouse. For example, do you want your employees to wash and disinfect their hands, or to polish their shoes before going on break? There are different types or hygiene stations. For example a double hygiene station, a cart disinfection station, a hygienic station compact or just a hand soap unit. You can read more about the different types of hygiene stations. By thinking about this in advance, the units can be tailored to your preferences. 

Greenhouse hygiene station maintenance

A good hygiene station reduces the risk of bacteria, viruses and fungi. A hygiene station provides effective cleaning and disinfection of hands and shoe soles, preventing bacteria and viruses from entering the greenhouse. The hygiene stations are used several times a day by employees and visitors entering and leaving the greenhouse. Therefore, it is very important to clean the hygiene stations regularly and keep them clean. This reduces the chance of contamination of the crop and bringing in infections. Our specialist wrote an article about "How to use and maintain a hygiene station". 

Dirty hygiene station
Dirty hygiene station



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More information on hygiene measures when entering a greenhouse?

A hygiene concept is tailor-made. This depends on the hygiene objectives at a particular location. Our specialist can advise you on the best greenhouse hygiene 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. 

Specialist HortiHygienz Dirk TimmersAbout Dirk Timmers

Dirk Timmers is product specialist HortiHygienz at Royal Brinkman. Due to the increasing demand for hygiene measures in horticulture, not a day has the same outcome. 'The great thing about my job is the diversity. One day you're in the greenhouse, the next day you're in the office together to develop a solution for the customer.'

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