No, hand dryers are NOT included as one of the options for hand washing within the CanadaGAP Program.
The following food safety reasons outline why hand dryers are not an acceptable option:
- Hand dryers may accumulate bacteria (from the environment, improperly washed hands, etc.) because of the warm air present and this has the potential to cross contaminate hands
- Hand dryers may aerosolize bacteria into the air
- Since hand dryers take longer to dry hands than paper towels do, employees may turn to improper drying methods (e.g., wiping hands on pants/shirt, not drying hands at all, etc.)
- Employees using paper towels tend to do a better job of drying their hands, leaving behind no water droplets that bacteria may proliferate in
- Paper towels add an extra form of risk reduction – the use of friction will help remove or reduce any unwanted bacteria that might remain if employees have not washed hands properly
- It is easier and faster to restock paper towels than fix a broken hand dryer.
Acceptable options for hand washing are outlined in Section 11 (Personal Hygiene Facilities). The three options are:
1. hot and/or cold running potable water, soap and disposable paper towels OR
2. water, disposable paper towels to dry hands and hand sanitizer OR
3. hand wipes and hand sanitizer