The use of wiping cloths in food businesses

Wiping cloths can spread bacteria

Wiping cloths can present a serious risk of cross-contamination. Dirty wiping cloths can spread bacteria to and from work surfaces, equipment, utensils, walls, door handles and the hands of food handlers.

When a work surface or item of equipment is used and then wiped, food debris, dirt and bacteria present are picked up and held on the cloth. A used cloth provides the ideal conditions for bacteria to multiply.

Cloths that are re-used will spread bacteria onto surfaces, utensils, equipment and onto the hands of the food handler, thereby leading to contamination.

Hygienic use of cloths

Cloths should be disposable. They should be used once only and never on more than one surface. Paper towels are most suitable.

When cleaning and disinfecting work surfaces and equipment, always remove food waste and dirt first using a detergent in hot water and then apply a disinfectant to the surface to remove bacteria.

After use place the cloth in a covered bin. Never leave used cloths on work surfaces, equipment or sink tops.


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