Should you use hair nets or not?


Nobody likes getting hair in their food product, but to what extent do you go to with your preventative measures? Should you use hair nets? In episode 30 of HACCP Mentor Review we check out this issue along with some other food safety and HACCP compliance tips.


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Welcome to HACCP Mentor Review where each week I share my knowledge and insights around food safety and HACCP compliance. I am Amanda Evans and in this episode we find out how long records should be kept, discuss controlling hair contamination and we check out the requirements for selecting external test laboratories.

Record Retention

I often get asked how long you should keep your food safety program records. It really does depend on the record in question and also any over-riding legislation on record retention that is applicable to your country of manufacture. As a general rule, CCP, QCP and pre-requisite program records should be kept for the shelf life of your product plus 1 year. You will also need to consider the frequency of your external audit and also the requirements of your certification standard.

Selecting your Testing Laboratory

An external laboratory may be contracted to undertake various quality, chemical and microbiological tests for your business. There are lots of different laboratory’s to choose from but how do you know which one to select? Firstly you need to make sure that they can perform the analysis that you actually need on the type of food that you want to get tested. Also check that the laboratory is certified or accredited to undertake the tests that you require. To find out their accreditation status just ask the lab to provide a copy of their certificate and applicable testing scopes.

HACCP Plan Organisation

Just a quick reminder if you are looking for an electronic HACCP Plan organisation system to head over to where you can instantly download the HACCP computer folders. This is the same system that I use for all of my food business clients.

SQF Information Day

For those of you who are located in Australia and have SQF certification, I recommend you register to attend the upcoming SQF Information days that are being held in either Sydney or Melbourne. I will be presenting a session on the “Basics of a Facility Audit” at the Sydney information day on Tuesday 10th September 2013. Get in and register as places are filling up fast and don’t forget to come and say G’day.

Should you wear hair nets?  HACCP-Mentor-To-cover-hair-or-not

Nobody likes getting hair in their food product, but to what extent do you go to with your preventative measures? The most common control is for food handlers to wear hair nets and beard nets but what about for people who are bald? Do you make it a condition that they have to wear hair nets? When implementing the wearing of beard nets, what is the allowable length of the beard or facial growth before someone has to wear a beard net? What about hair on the arms?

These questions can cause a fair amount of conflict in food business. I have audited companies that will stipulate that after the beard is a certain length, a beard net is to be worn. This sounds great in theory, but do they really go around and measure the length? Somehow I doubt it. Save yourself the stress and just make a blanket rule – all head hair is to be covered and if the person is not clean shaven, a beard net should be worn as well. Let me know your thoughts on this but leaving a comment below this episode.

Action of the week

The action to be completed this episode is to go around and check that all windows that can be opened in your food production facility are adequately screened and pest proofed. This includes checking that insect screens are tight fitting and don’t have any gaps around the edges where pests can crawl in and potentially end up in your food product.

Wrap Up

Well, that is episode 30 done. Please feel free to share this with any of your colleagues and associates. I also what to send out a quick thank-you to those who email me with your questions and appreciation. Thanks again, I am Amanda Evans, so until next time, stay safe and have a great week.


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