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What counts as an open wound when handling food?

(3 Posts)
SapphireSeptember Sun 25-Dec-16 23:07:29

I was told the other day that although the hands of one of the girls I work with are covered in what look like tiny little cuts because of how dry her hands get, they aren't open wounds (even though if I have just one cut I have to cover it with a plaster even after it's scabbed over) and that she's not allowed to wear gloves because they harbour bacteria. I thought cuts harbour bacteria too, but whatever. (My hands have been in the state my colleague's hands are in, so I know how painful it can be but I've managed to stave it off so far this winter, I'm also sure the cleaning products we use at work are evil. They have that picture of the dead fish on them, and we're expected to put our bare hands in that?) I'm sure this is a food hygiene issue, and a quick Google tells me her hands need to be covered, but my supervisor and manager disagree. What are the legal implications of this? And is there anything she can do to protect her hands?

NewNNfor2017 Mon 26-Dec-16 14:05:50

No legal implications, as such, in terms of food safety, until/unless something goes wrong.

In the event of a claim against the business, the legal responsibility lies with the business to prove that they took all reasonable steps to prevent food borne illness - which must be set out in the HACCP that all food businesses must have. If the business is found to be liable, they can be fined/imprisoned.

Assuming that the HACCP says that cuts must be covered, if your colleague is ignoring that, she should be disciplined - if your employer is complicit, then they could be issued with a warning by Env Health if the HACCP isn't being followed during a visit/inspection.

As for the chemicals you use, that is covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act - you should be given directions on how to use them and provided with the necessary protective equipment to keep you safe.

prh47bridge Mon 26-Dec-16 16:31:52

If by "picture of a dead fish" you mean the pictogram I've attached to this post, that means that the chemical is hazardous to fish, crustaceans or aquatic plants. If that is the only pictogram it carries the chemical is not hazardous to humans.

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