Home » Workwear in the food industry – hygiene, quality and compliance

Workwear in the food industry – hygiene, quality and compliance

Hygiene has a major impact on consumer health and safety in the food industry. To ensure adequate quality and safety in food facilities, businesses need to place high standards on both personnel and the environment they work in.

Physical conditions of production, hygiene, storage, and delivery of food and staff equipment all affect the level of hygiene. Keep storage areas clean, well-organised, and secured against unauthorised access. Furthermore, make sure to store food items at the correct temperatures and protect them from adverse effects, such as light, moisture, and insects.

Employees should receive education and training on how to follow strict hygiene requirements. They are handling food items closely, and their priority should be to minimise the risk of food contamination. Continuously inform employees about updates in hygiene and safety requirements. This includes wearing environmentally specific workwear, washing their hands regularly, and wearing protective equipment. When distributing food, employees should follow safety standards and ensure proper packaging and labelling.

Clean zones in food processing

Clean zones is a way to classify different areas in food preparation facilities. They support keeping areas clean and disinfected and maintaining hygiene. Their main purpose is to minimise the risk of food contamination and ensure that clean and unclean areas do not come in contact.

Classifying cleaning zones based on the principle of cleanliness hierarchy

Below are descriptions of different zones and hygiene standards they require. Area 1 has the lowest hygiene requirements, whereas area 4 achieves the highest level of cleanliness in the food industry.

Such as a storage area or raw material unloading area. Products that have not yet undergone any processing are accepted.
This means an area where employees remove any rough dirt, for example, residues or excess material from food.
This zone uses specialised cleaning agents and methods to achieve a high level of hygiene. E.g., washing dishes, cleaning tools and equipment used in food processing.
For sensitive areas such as laboratories, cleanrooms or environments where food samples are prepared for testing are performed in this zone.

Workwear in the food and beverage industry

Businesses handling food have some of the strictest hygiene procedures that personnel must follow. For instance, the staff should wear hygienically clean work clothes and equipment; including face masks, gloves, caps, or full protective suits.

Adapt employees’ workwear to their working environment. In a high-temperature area, workwear should be made from lightweight material. On the contrary, if the production area is chilly, such as in a refrigerated storage space, warmer workwear garments should be part of the workwear collection.

Food industry workwear that meet the highest standards

In general, the higher the risk of contamination, the more stringent the requirement for workwear should be. For instance, garments used in high-risk areas are allowed to have only interior pockets. Garments used in areas with the highest risk of contamination must not have any pockets, thus avoiding the risk of foreign objects contaminating the products.

Let’s look into some classic types of professional workwear garments in the food sector:

Aprons are an essential type of food-grade workwear. A good apron is made of durable, easy-to-clean materials such as cotton or polyester. Aprons protect worker’s workwear from dirt and grime while providing a barrier against contamination.
Kitchen work coats and chef jackets are generally in use at kitchens and restaurants. They are made of strong and durable materials and have a button or zipper closure. Work coats protect workers from heat and other hazards and prevent unwanted substances from entering food.
Work trousers should be comfortable but also functional and hygienic. Materials should be easy to wash and resistant to dirt. Trousers must be the correct length to minimise the risk of contamination from the floor.
Work caps are suitable for workplaces such as food processing areas, butcher’s shops, delis, bakeries, and anywhere where cleanliness and hygiene are a major concern. A food-grade head covering is important to help prevent hair from falling into food.
Gloves are an important part of workwear in the food industry. Gloves should be suitable for food use, hygienic, impermeable, and easy to put on and take off. Workers should change gloves regularly to minimise the risk of contamination.

The right textiles for food processing

At Lindström, we design and produce workwear that meets the latest hygiene requirements and regulations. We know the specific standards of the food industry, and our textiles meet the demands of your workplace. Our workwear and uniforms meet widely used international and national standards, such as ISO 22000, BRC, Tesco and HACCP.

Enjoy a holistic textile service.
Outsourcing textiles saves space, time and money on storage, inventory management, cleaning and other activities. You can use these resources to develop your core business.
Lindström Group