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Team of four food processing workers in plant wearing food manufacturing uniforms

Consider this: each year there are thousands of food and beverage product recalls. In the U.S. alone, foodborne illnesses cause more than 48 million people to get sick and nearly 3,000 to die1. While the effect on human life is staggering, there’s also the crushing financial burden that is associated with foodborne illnesses, product recalls and lawsuits.

But there’s a way to help battle against the pathogens that can disrupt your manufacturing: food processing uniforms.

Help Keep Pathogens Out of Your Processing Facility

Consider food manufacturing uniforms as the armor you wear as a line of defense in your food processing plant. Garments that are properly cleaned, disinfected and stored can help prevent pathogens or other bacteria from invading your food processing area1.

The aim of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is to minimize or eliminate potential hazards by identifying and controlling them at critical points in the food production process. HACCP for food manufacturing is an essential tool for ensuring food safety and quality and is widely used by companies worldwide.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “farm to table,” but that simplifies food processing and leaves out a huge component of the steps that need to be taken to get food safely on the table. The whole supply chain needs to be considered, including the garments your employees are wearing — and how they’re being laundered, handled, stored and delivered to your plant.

Vestis™ offers a wide variety of HACCP-approved uniforms in its rental program that can help satisfy your food safety clothing requirements and will help you meet your good manufacturing practices (GMP) uniform policy. We’ll share a few of your options, but first let’s look at the laundering process.

The Necessary Steps to Better Food Safety

VeriTEX QC™, our HACCP-based, third party internal audited laundry and delivery process incorporates quality control steps to minimize cross-contamination risk. It features an EPA-registered laundry disinfectant that achieves a complete kill of certain organisms during the wash cycle, including Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella enterica2.

Our process includes a series of calculated steps:

  • Soiled food processing uniforms are picked up by our Route Sales Representatives and kept sealed away from clean garments to help prevent cross contamination
  • Soiled garments are dropped off at our designated food soil area where they are separated by color, fabric and degree of soil
  • Garments are washed with an EPA-registered laundry disinfectant
  • After the wash process, garments go through steam tunnels with temperatures reaching more than 260° F
  • Clean garments are separated by sorters who wear disposable gloves or use hand sanitizer to prepare deliveries
  • Freshly laundered food manufacturing uniforms are inspected, covered with plastic and loaded for delivery back to your facility

To make it easy for you to demonstrate compliance, Vestis provides you with documentation to share with third-party auditors. Plus, our food processing uniform options and laundry services help you meet the protective clothing requirements for HACCP for food manufacturing standards.

What Should You Look for in Food Manufacturing Uniforms?

What you wear is an important component of food safety, but equally as important is how your HACCP-approved uniforms are constructed. Food-safe features such as snap-front shirt closures mean no worries from buttons falling into product. Pocketless lab coats prevent undesirable items from entering your processing area. Knit cuffs help provide an additional level of hygiene with a tighter fit around wrists. Another important consideration is the fabrics used. They need to be durable and hold up to frequent laundering.

Vestis carries a wide assortment of food processing uniforms including:

  • Work pants
  • Work shirts
  • Pocketless Snap-Front Shirts
  • Butcher’s Coats
  • Lab Coats
  • Wraparound Gowns

To learn more about HACCP-approved uniforms from a Vestis food processing industry specialist, contact us today for a free quote.

1Burden of Foodborne Illness: Findings, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2016.

2This formulation meets EPA requirements for laundry disinfection (complete kill in 9 out of 9 carriers with a 6-log or greater organisms per carrier kill rate) for the following organisms during the wash cycle: Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes. Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, HIV-1 Virus, Norovirus and Human Rhinovirus. This formulation and VeriTEX QC™ only apply to select items and are only provided to customers of Vestis who require and request their products to be processed as part of our VeriTEX QC™ process.