National hygiene program launched in the Hunter
A new hygiene program for Australia’s food retail, cafe and hospitality industries is being kicked off in the Hunter region. Called the White Tick Program it is the brainchild of Gus Nehme, the founder of the Hygiene Foundation of Australia.
Gus says according to the World Health Organisation hands are responsible for transmitting 80% of infectious diseases. Even in a modern developed society like Australia when hands touch other people or surfaces they can transfer millions of microorganisms and some of them can carry disease.
He wants to make coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, shopping centre food courts, food retail outlets, clubs, aged care homes and other places where people and food come together to be healthier places to dine at and work in.
He says his White Tick Program is based on the ASKS principle of Awareness, Solution, Knowledge and Support.
"We are dedicated to improving hygiene and wellbeing for all Australians. We will do this by reducing the incidence of coming into contact with microorganisms by introducing a new standard of hygiene cleanliness - our exclusive White Tick Program - which is a system of new habits to improve health standards. We will show that washing or sanitising hands for just 40 seconds results in dramatically improved protection for employees and their customers. Prevention is better than cure and hand hygiene is the first line of defence.”
The White Tick Program is supported by the Hygiene Foundation of Australia’s scientifically developed hand soap, sanitiser, sentinel and other sanitising products.
Gus adds that there are right and wrong ways to wash your hands and sanitise surface areas. When food retail outlets demonstrate that they have embraced these new habits in their work place he will present them with the White Tick logo and certificate. He will then keep in contact as new staff are brought on to ensure that everyone maintains the White Tick standard.
He says the public will come to know when looking for a place to meet and eat and make food purchases that when they see the White Tick symbol on the front door or window that it will be their assurance of optimum hygiene standards.
Gus says employers will appreciate the White Tick Program because a healthier work place means less workers contracting illness and taking sick leave. "Our figures show that businesses can save thousands of dollars each year. A healthy work place also reduces the incidence of anything happening to customers. For a coffee shop, restaurant, club or aged care home the last thing they want is people becoming ill."