Employee training in good handling practices, covering the key areas of sanitation and worker hygiene, is critical to achieving the goals of the almond industry’s Food Quality and Safety Program (FQSP). Establishing a written training program for employees that addresses general sanitation and good hygiene practices will help reduce the risk of all forms of contamination. All training programs should be evaluated routinely and updated as necessary. Documentation of employee training is also necessary to verify that federal, state and local requirements for worker safety training are met.
It may be necessary to have bilingual training classes, depending on the composition of your workforce. You can use the Employee Training Documentation to document the subject material covered during training classes or create your own.
Basic personnel safety and hygiene requirements
The following steps should be taken to minimize potential contamination associated with employees and visitors to your plant:
- Employees must wear clean outer garments that protect against contamination of almonds, almond-contact surfaces or almond packaging materials.
- All employees must wash hands with soap and warm water before work, after using restrooms, upon returning to their work station from a break or lunch, or any other time when their hands may have become soiled.
- All employees are to wear effective hair restraints, including hairnets and beard and mustache covers where applicable.
- No objects--pens, pencils, cell phones, etc.-- shall be carried above the waist or placed in pockets above the belt.
- No food, candy, chewing gum, lozenges, or other comestibles are allowed in the plant.
- Personal items must be stored in lockers or other designated locations outside processing areas.
- All jewelry must be removed when entering the plant (plain wedding bands are frequently exempted from this requirement). No hairpins or other objects that could fall into food may be worn in the process areas. Fingernail polish and false fingernails should not be allowed.
- No employee infected with or showing symptoms of any infectious or communicable disease, or that demonstrate open sores, boils, infected wounds or any other affliction that may spread disease, shall be in contact with almonds, almond surfaces or almond packaging materials. Supervisor shall monitor for these conditions.
- Monitor employees, conduct internal audits and record corrective action taken when appropriate.
- Visitors and contractors shall follow the same rules as employees. Use the Plant Visitors Agreement sample form.
- No glass items of any kind are permitted in the plant processing areas.
- If employees wear gloves they shall be of an impermeable material. Gloves shall be cleaned and/or sanitized at the beginning of work, after returning to work station, or at any other time when the gloves become soiled.
- Tobacco is not permitted in the plant. Smoking is permitted only in designated areas outside the plant.
- Personnel working in the hulling/shelling or other “dirty” areas of the plant should not enter other areas of the plant. Forklifts and other equipment used in the hulling/shelling area also should not move into processed product areas due to the risk of contaminating finished product.
Download the full GMP manual.
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