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The Food Standards Agency's Biannual Public Attitudes Tracker results, published this week, shows that we as consumers are progressively paying more attention to the hygiene standards of the establishments in which we eat and drink, as well as those from which we buy food and drink to consume elsewhere. I would hope that the tracking survey, which monitors changes in consumer attitudes towards food-related issues by questioning consumers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, reflects the feelings of those throughout the developed world, in as much as the more aware of the issues we become and the more vocal we are about them, the higher the standards we should enjoy.
The top food safety issues of concern for respondents were food hygiene when eating out (33%), chemicals from the environment (such as lead) in food (30%), food additives (29%) and food poisoning (28%). The top wider food issues of concern were the amount of sugar in food (55%), food waste (51%), food prices (43%) and animal welfare (42%). Concern about food safety in UK restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaways was cited by 45%, while concern about food safety in UK shops and supermarkets was cited by 43%.
The most commonly reported ways of knowing about hygiene standards were via hygiene stickers / certificates and the general appearance of the premises (both 61%). And while we in the industry know that even if an establishment looks clean, it doesn't necessarily mean it's really clean and - importantly - hygienic, the fact that the wider public tends to trust the FSA's judgment means that premises able to display a five-star sticker on the door are going to do better than those that don't have a sticker at all.
The result that most surprised me is that only 82% reported that they were aware of hygiene standards in places they eat out at or buy food from - I would have expected it to have been more! Years ago, I tended to be put-off eating somewhere if it looked visibly dirty - now I make a point of checking out a place before even setting foot in the door. With an abundance of reviews all over the Web, a complaint about an establishment's lack of cleanliness means I won't use it, so it surprises me that 18% of people don't seem to be that concerned...
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This Week's News
Working collaboratively with Impact's manufacturers' representatives, Sylvia will be responsible for key distributor account development, training and collaborative consuming customer work.
Stephen Cameron, business development director at SWRnewstar, explores the implications that China's ban on the importation of mixed recyclables will have on the UK. In the wake of news that broke following the National Audit Office (NAO) report, the China ban places even more pressure on businesses.
Xeros Technology Group, the UK-headquartered technology business and innovator of a near-waterless laundry system, and Fanute, a solution provider to the hospitality industry, have announced the shipment of 16 near-waterless washing machines to the drought-inflicted Cape Province region of South Africa.
Cape Town is just one region where drought has led to a permanent change in water consumption being legislated, creating increased demand for Xeros's sustainability credentials in geographic markets that can no longer ignore issues around water scarcity.
Bio-Productions is pulling the flush on bad odours in public washrooms thanks to its pioneering Bio-P technology. The Sussex manufacturer has waged war on smelly bathrooms with its flagship devices, which effectively destroy odours, clean pipes and conserve water at the same time.
The Bio-P works by combining the company's renowned Biological Urinal Block products with an easy-to-fit cap that attaches to most urinals with no installation cost.
Award-winning, Toronto, Canada-based cleaning company Golden Line Green Care has been carrying out research on duct cleaning and indoor air pollution and says that while, on average, people spend 90% of a day indoors, most don't acknowledge that indoor air pollution might be worse inside than outside. Yet research shows that indoor air can be five times more polluted than outdoor air.
The constant lack of a viable labour force is the main challenge facing the cleaning technology sector in Hungary, says Zoltán Paár, chairman of the Hungarian Cleaning Technology Association (MATISZ). Zoltán believes that the long-term solution should involve better training and the ability to charge more for cleaning services than is currently considered acceptable.
Nowadays it's very difficult to find cleaning staff in Hungary, due to the labour shortage and lack of training. Wages have almost doubled in the sector over the past few years, and most companies are struggling to keep up with the increased wage burden and the related charges, which together make up between 70% and 80% of their total expenses.
Award-winning social enterprise, Clarity-The Soap Co. has launched a sister brand, Becọ - putting meaningful change for disabled and disadvantaged people firmly into the supply chain of organisations seeking to save water and do good.
Becọ is a Better Considered movement. Making things better:
The British Cleaning Council, which represents over 20 national trade and membership associations linked to the UK's cleaning, hygiene and waste management sectors, has announced details of a new trade show which will run alongside The Cleaning Show at London's Excel next year (19th - 21st March).
Called 'The Resource Management Show', the two-day event will be a platform for recycling and waste management equipment manufacturers and distributors, product suppliers and other related service providers, to promote their latest offerings.
The Domestic Cleaning Alliance, the only UK trade association working exclusively on behalf of the domestic cleaning industry, has been awarded an £1,700 grant by the British Cleaning Council to kick-start two new professional development initiatives specifically for the domestic cleaning sector.
The first is a pilot staff retention workshop which will be designed to help owners of small domestic cleaning companies manage, incentivise and ultimately retain cleaning staff.
From small particles like sawdust and cement chips to chemicals that cause burns, there are numerous workplace hazards that pose a risk to employees' eyes. A survey conducted among 124 safety professionals at the 2018 ASSP Professional Development Conference last month in Texas, reveals whether businesses are prepared for these difficult-to-avoid eye injuries.
Conducted by Cintas Corporation, a leading provider of workplace first aid and safety supplies, the survey found that just three in 10 safety managers are extremely confident that their eyewash station would properly function in the event of an emergency.
An 11-year study of Danish female cleaning workers received little North American news coverage.
Riwal UK is offering clients pink powered access as part of a year-long campaign to support research charity Breast Cancer Now, having repainted two of its most popular access platforms pink and named them 'Betty Boom' and 'Suzie Scissor Lift', to raise awareness about the disease on worksites and in public places up and down the UK.
Five per cent of all hire fees for the eye-catching machines will be donated to the charity - while employees have pledged to take part in more fundraising events during the year.
The Freight Transport Association, the largest and most influential business organisation in the logistics sector, has launched a new series of events - the International Road Transport Operator Conferences 2018 - to help operators understand and adapt to the changing international regulatory landscape for road haulage.
The three one day events will be sponsored by Brigade Electronics, Navitrans and PTV Map & Guide.
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