Improving Security in the Plant

July 18, 2006
This article from Aramark Uniform Services explains how uniforms can help enhance plant security as well as product safety in food processing facilities.

Security is not something to be taken lightly in the food processing industry. As recent events continue to bring security to the forefront of operations, increased plant security has become a high priority in an overall food safety program. The good news is that there are many steps food processors can take to improve the level of security in the plant.

One of the elements helping to further the security cause is the use of uniforms. With numerous people arriving at or departing from a facility, it is difficult to distinguish employees from visitors. Companies need to be able to identify plant personnel quickly and easily to help reduce confusion and potential for security issues. This is where uniforms step in to differentiate a company’s employees from its visitors.

Beyond unwanted visitors, security is also an issue with employees. Workers have unique roles in the plant, which often require them to be kept separate from other areas of the food processing facility. Uniforms help alleviate this concern by providing distinctive apparel based on the division in the plant. For example, employees in the processing area may wear blue while those who work in packaging wear white. Assigning workers apparel specific to the area where they work helps to reinforce the security of the plant, its workers and the end product.

In addition, uniforms are essential in reducing the risk of contamination in the food industry. It is virtually impossible to know where employees – and the clothes they wear – have been before arriving to work. When the responsibility to wash uniforms is left with the employee, the potential to introduce contaminants to the food supply is ever-present. Even the smallest element can have an impact on the safety of the plant and the food it processes. Fortunately, uniform companies like Aramark Uniform Services provide hygienically clean uniforms in order to decrease this risk. Outfitting employees in uniforms helps to maintain a safe work environment, reduce site injuries and prevent external threats.

Safety and security measures are only as good as the people who work at the facility. In order to reap the benefits uniforms have to offer, it is critical that employees are aware of and adhere to the procedures required before entering or exiting the plant floor. With the myriad of rules and regulations in place to ensure security, uniform rental programs are helping food processors get one step closer to a secure environment.

Keeping food processing facilities safe, secure and clean

Aramark Uniform Services is a one-stop shop for all areas of a food processing facility, from the plant line to the warehouse and distribution facilities. As a leading supplier of uniforms and career apparel, Aramark provides rental, purchase and lease programs to more than 1.5 million people at more than 400,000 businesses.

As a member of the Food Products Association, National Turkey Federation, International HACCP Alliance, American Meat Institute, and American Institute of Baking, Aramark understands the safety and sanitation regulations of the food industry. In turn, the company is able to develop uniform programs that best fit each customer's needs and meet or exceed all requirements set by industry organizations. In addition, Aramark’s uniform laundry process helps ensure hygienically clean garments and improve sanitation standard operating procedures critical to plant HACCP programs.

Aramark’s uniform and safety solutions help increase plant security and employee safety. Because the company has extensive experience in the food business, Aramark knows first-hand the concerns of employees when it comes to uniforms. Fit and comfort are essential elements in any uniform’s design, which is why the firm can provide the type of coverage and features appropriate to the safety concerns of various types of workers. Some examples include eliminating straps that have the potential to get caught in machinery, designing clothing similar to surgical scrubs and offering apparel that is comfortable and easy to wear.

Uniform companies should hold themselves to the same standards their customers set for their operations. With that in mind, reputable uniform suppliers need to adhere to their own internal HACCP programs for cleaning, handling, transporting and delivering uniforms. Aramark is in the process of implementing its own HACCP plan in order to provide the highest sanitation standards required from its food customers. The plan ensures each process is validated from the time soiled garments arrive at our facilities until hygienically clean apparel is delivered to the customer.

With more than 50 years experience working with food processing companies, Aramark understands this line of business and can provide each customer with uniform solutions that help keep plant workers and the products they produce safe, secure and sanitary.

More on the Web

For more information on plant safety and security, see the following articles on Annual Manufacturing Survey: Safe and secure and Secure your plant. Still more articles may be found by typing "Security" into the Search box at the top right of each page of the web site.

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