LGMA Launches Handwashing App
The California LGMA has just launched its first app, available on iTunes for iPhone and iPad, designed to help train field workers on how to properly wash their hands while on the job.
Handwashing is perhaps the most critical of all food safety practices used in the production of leafy greens and other fresh produce crops. It’s the first line of defense in protecting our food. While handwashing may seem like a simple task, a quick soak or wetting of hands without using soap is not good enough to remove microbes. To do the job right, there are six basic steps to be followed. Workers also need to know when they should wash their hands, which — of course — is important after using the restroom, but also after eating, taking breaks or smoking. Effectively training workers on how to properly wash their hands can be difficult and time-consuming.
We can now literally say, “We have an app for that!” The training tool takes about 5 minutes to complete and includes step-by-step directions, clear captions, photographs, video footage and exercises to reinforce concepts. There is also a multiple choice quiz at the end that users must complete (and pass) to ensure information presented is understood. In addition to handwashing, the app also teaches proper use of gloves and hand sanitizers that are used by some farming companies. The app is free and it’s available in English or Spanish versions.
This is a really comprehensive tool that was developed by noted expert in food safety training Dr. Sergio Nieto Montenegro of CTS Consulting. Dr. Montenegro has worked with the Arizona LGMA on its training programs and is working with Mike Villaneva, the Director of our own LGMA Tech training program to develop the California LGMA’s food safety program curriculum.
The app is a great addition to LGMA’s many other training tools, but it’s something that’s portable, easy-to-use and, well . . . cool. Plus, it offers the opportunity for consistent training from company to company.
We’re really excited to share this new app with the leafy greens community and anyone else interested in food safety on the farm.