Five Aspects of an Effective Infection Control Policy in Hospitality

Now and in the future, businesses in the hospitality industry will be held to a higher standard of cleanliness. Strict infection control policies reduce the likelihood that infections spread and multiply within your property and into the local community. Effective infection control policies not only protect vulnerable groups, but also reduce the risk of irreparable damage to your brand’s reputation.

These five factors provide a firm foundation for keeping your guests and staff safe and healthy:

1. Handwashing

Rigorous handwashing is one of the most important factors of infection control. Hand-to-person and hand-to-surface contact are common ways that pathogens spread from person to person. Employees should wash their hands frequently, especially in these circumstances:

  • After using the washroom.
  • Before, during, and after handling food.
  • After coughing or sneezing.
  • After touching garbage.

Proper handwashing follows a seven-step process:

  1. Remove jewelry from hands.
  2. Wet hands with warm running water.
  3. Apply soap.
  4. Lather soap on hands for at least 20 seconds.
  5. Cover all surfaces with soap, including the backs of hands and between fingers.
  6. Rinse the soap from hands with clean water. Turn off the tap using a paper towel.
  7. Dry hands with a paper towel, clean cloth towel, or air dryer.

2. Social distancing

Social distancing – the practice of staying at least six feet away from other people – has shown to be an effective way to reduce the spread of viral infections. Research conducted at the Universities of Kentucky and Georgia in the U.S. found that communities without social distancing guidelines had infection rates 35% higher than those with guidelines in place.

Placing signage in strategically visible places throughout your property that explains social distancing best practices reduces the likelihood of people becoming infected. Floor stickers can be used to indicate where people should stand when they are queuing.

3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Business staff, including cleaning personnel, should wear PPE whenever possible. Although PPE does not prevent 100% of infections, it greatly reduces the chances that pathogens spread from person to person. For example, cloth face masks limit how far water particles travel when people speak.

It is important to note that disposable gloves are not a substitute for handwashing. Gloves can just as easily move pathogens from one surface to another. Similarly, boot covers can prevent dirt and other debris from getting tracked from room to room, but most health organizations do not recommend them.

4. Cleaning and disinfection

Frequent cleaning is a key aspect of an infection control policy. In the hospitality industry, it is important to deeply clean any rooms that have been occupied by guests before another patron is allowed inside.

Disposable microfibre cloths are useful for removing dirt and pathogens from surfaces. In addition, flat mops can remove debris from the floor better than traditional wet mop heads. All cleaning equipment should be sanitized between uses to further limit the spread of pathogens between rooms.

5. Laundry care

Laundry and other textiles should be handled with care, especially after use by a guest. Housekeepers should consider wearing gloves when handling used linens. Gloves should be disposed of afterwards. If linens are sent away for cleaning, they should be placed in sealed bags.

With durable cleaning equipment, businesses can effectively reduce the risk of infection. Contact us to find out more on how we can help you safely return to and maintain normal operations: