With spring in the air, thoughts are now turning to family day trips and tours and outdoor activities. Petting zoos and mobile pet farms have increased in popularity in recent years and visits to such establishments should never be considered free from all risk.
All animals carry a range of microorganisms, some of which can be transmitted to humans. Diseases passed from animal to humans are called zoonoses, with some being far more serious than others. Young children and the elderly are at greatest risk of becoming infected, with very low numbers of microorganisms being required to cause infection.
Implementing effective control measures in these venues will help to ensure the risk of infection from contact with animals is low. These include:
- Explaining to visitors the risks associated with having direct contact with animals. Provide information signs to remind patrons about handwashing while at the venue.
- Washing facilities should include warm running water, soap and paper towels. Hand wash facilities should be sufficient for the number of visitors expected.
- Alcohol gels and wipes are not a substitute for hand washing
- Do not allow eating on the farm where animals can be touched
- Provide training and supervision for workers on the need to wash and dry their hands thoroughly
Don’t put your business at risk! Book an upcoming Food Hygiene Course/HACCP training course or contact an EHAI approved trainer