With a dedicated footwear cleaning and sanitation program, food production facilities reduce the risk of workers bringing contaminants into their facilities. The CDC states, “Contamination can occur at any point along the chain—during production, processing, distribution or preparation,” making it that much more important to sanitize footwear throughout the entire food production chain. There are a variety of different footwear hygiene programs, but some methods have potential drawbacks. Best Sanitizers has compiled a list of common Footwear Hygiene Do’s and Don’ts to help food and beverage manufacturing facilities find the best solution for them. For more information, contact your account representative via email or call 888-225-3267.

DON’T – Skip the first step to footwear hygiene! Cleaning footwear prior to sanitization is the first step to any footwear hygiene program.
DO – Sanitization is not effective if footwear is not first cleaned. The process of cleaning removes any dirt or debris on the bottom and sides of the footwear. Clean footwear with a wet or dry boot scrubber that fits the needs of your customer’s plant. Wet units combine a cleaning chemical and water into a solution which is applied to footwear while dry units offer a solution for facilities not wanting to increase moisture during the cleaning process.
DON’T – Replace sanitization with disposable covers. Wearing disposable shoe covers doesn’t reduce the presence of pathogens. Shoe covers can pick up soil and contaminants as easily as street shoes. Once they become adulterated, they can spread contamination wherever the employee walks in the facility. Plus, they create a lot of unnecessary waste and can become difficult and costly to dispose of.
DO – Add a footwear sanitizing unit that reduces pathogens in the plant. Shoe covers are a passive solution and do not apply a sanitizer to reduce pathogens. Fighting cross-contamination from footwear requires a more active approach to achieve maximum pathogen reduction. Pairing the HACCP SmartStep2™ Dual Footwear Sanitizing Unit with Alpet® D2 Surface Sanitizer or Alpet® D2 Quat-Free Surface Sanitizer creates an efficient and effective tool to reduce pathogens from footwear.
DON’T – Waste resources. Footbaths have been used to sanitize footwear for many years, but from the very first use, the antimicrobial solution’s effectiveness is diminished. This requires constant monitoring and maintenance to ensure efficacy, which takes up employee time and resources.
DO – Adding a footwear sanitizing unit that provides each worker with a fresh, measurable, dose of sanitizer means there is no need for constant monitoring and maintenance. In addition, this method provides consistent results because the chemical effectiveness is not diminished after each employee uses the unit. Using a unit such as the HACCP SmartStep2™ Dual Footwear Sanitizing Unit minimizes chemical waste and improves moisture control. Each application provides ample coverage to footwear soles, yet uses only 0.4 ounces of chemical (0.2 oz per boot).
DON’T – Waste time using chemicals that take a long time to dry.
DO – Use an alcohol-based surface sanitizer for faster drying times so production can get back to work quickly. Alpet® D2 Surface Sanitizer or Alpet® D2 Quat-Free Surface Sanitizer are both alcohol-based surface sanitizers that are highly evaporative. They both kill 99.9% of tested pathogens in 10 seconds on non-food contact surfaces, including rubber footwear.

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