Why is it important for care assistants to wear gloves and aprons when handling food? | QCS

Why is it important for care assistants to wear gloves and aprons when handling food?

Barry Price
Answered by Barry Price

I am unable to comment on your personal or organisational circumstances but for clarity at a local level I suggest you speak to your line manager who will be able to explain any local reasons and rationale behind your requirements.


As a basic guide you may be interested to note that according to the World Health Organisation the main transmission of germs and bacteria in healthcare settings is hands.


In health and Social Care Settings there are a host of legal and regulatory requirements that need to be adhered to in order to be able to demonstrate infection control and food safety compliance for example: Food Standards Agency: https://www.food.gov.uk/about-us/key-regulations or CQC: https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/all-services/guidance-providers


These regulations and requirements feed into your own policies and procedures, and in particular your infection control and food safety policies to ensure that locally you have safe working practices in place.


Think about the busy role of a care worker / support worker. It may be that they are required to carry out personal care throughout the day and in the same uniform would be expected to support an individual to eat. Think too about COVID-19 would you like to think that someone was serving and supporting you to eat with a dirty or infected uniform on that may increase the risks of contamination of not just COVID-19 but also bodily fluids and other items that it has come into contact with throughout the routine day. Just because it does not look dirty does not mean that it isn’t.


Which brings me on to the issue of hand hygiene and effective handwashing. There is no substitute for this, not even alcohol gel as this is not a substitute for handwashing. The requirement to wear gloves may be an extra measure to support your services effective infection control measures.


I hope this helps but more importantly discuss this locally, supervisions and team meetings can be a great place to share and ask questions as it may benefit others you work with to get clarity on your local procedures.

About Barry Price

Specialist in Adults with Learning Disabilities and Complex Needs

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