The APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum Partnership Training Institute Network (FSCF PTIN) was established in 2008 to improve food safety in the Asia-Pacific region by building the capacity of APEC Economies to prevent, detect, and control foodborne pathogens. To achieve this goal, the FSCF PTIN convenes key stakeholders along every step of the global food supply chain – the food industry, academic food safety experts, and government regulators – to address critical food safety gaps. One of the most critical issues in food safety practices is hand hygiene.
APEC has recognized that hand hygiene is a fundamental first response to ensuring food safety. While hand-washing is at the front line of all food safety, the impact of hand drying is less understood by food processing workers and management. Behavioral science shows that people may understand the importance of handwashing in terms of bacterial load reduction but not the importance of hand drying.
This self-funded project is a pilot program in Peru which will build the food safety capacity of Peruvian food processing facility employees and management, focusing on training in hand hygiene and, specifically, hand drying according to standard protocols. The training will show participants what happens if workers are not compliant, for example spending less time than required to dry their hands. There is compelling evidence that showing workers and management the results has a profound effect on behavior as no one believes their hands are dirty if they look clean. If this demonstration project succeeds in Peru, the intention is to replicate the project throughout the APEC region.