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The difference between high and low care in food production

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As the Food Industry Specialist, we place a lot of importance on training our team so that our knowledge of food manufacturing is shared throughout the company. So from time to time we'll share with you some of the parts that make up the picture.

First up - high care and low care. Here is the difference between the two, from the perspective of a supplier of hygiene, safety and PPE equipment.

While there is no simple rule for high care and low care, and the protection required for each, the BRC defines the requirement for high care as becoming greater the closer to consumption the food product is.


Another factor in determining whether a production area is high or low care is the potential for bacterial growth. Chilled, frozen or ready-to-eat foods are given particular focus by the BRC. 


The exact requirements differ from factory to factory, and there is high protection at all stages of food production. Likewise with the PPE required, this is generally governed differently at the various sites we work with.


In a high care environment, the maximum protection of mob caps – in some cases doubled up, disposable gloves, beard snoods and cover-all clothing is required, and the whole process is strictly controlled, from the laundering of over coats, to the order in which PPE protection is applied.


Where a factory includes low and high care areas, the two will be separated by a physical barrier, and in most cases – even if the PPE items to be worn are the same, there will be a specific colour coding system in place to distinguish the two areas.


Colour coding, shadow boards and detectable products become much more important in areas where food is being prepared ready for consumption. Hair contamination is also a key issue, and knowing the benefits of our advanced hair contamination systems will help you when guiding the customer.


A high care site is more likely to invest in premium products with advanced protection benefits, and will have strict targets on minimising complaints. But there really is no hard and fast rule, only that the products we recommend do the job for which they are intended.


For more information or guidance on best practice in the food industry, email us and don't forget to engage with us on Twitter.


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