Dyson Airblade hand dryer gets HACCP green light into food industry

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 13th August 2009

HACCP Australia – Australia’s leading food safety accreditation program – has endorsed the Dyson Airblade hand dryer for use in food handling areas, the first hand dryer to receive such recognition.

The product was reviewed by Australian food technologists in accordance with HACCP Australia’s Food Safety Certification Programme, with their approval to see the first entry of a hand dryer into food handling areas in Australia.

James Dyson, founder of Dyson, said the new product – which was three years in the making – presents a cleaner and more environmentally friendly alternative.

“Instead of painfully slow evaporation, the Dyson Airblade creates a high speed sheet of air, which blasts your hands dry. It’s very quick and it’s very clean,” he said.

Using high velocity sheets of unheated air, hands are dried in just ten seconds while, at the same time, 99.9% of bacteria and mould is removed from the air using HEPA filtration.

Dyson Airblade

The dryer, unlike conventional warm air hand dryers, does not blow bacteria back onto freshly washed hands nor use a heating element that can induce bacterial growth. It avoids this by using Dyson’s patented Digital Motor; which doesn’t rely on carbon brushes and can spin about five times quicker than a Formula 1 motor.

As a result, the Dyson Airblade is considered safe in the strict food handling environment and can save around 146,000 paper towels each year* as well as use up to 80 per cent less energy compared with conventional hand dryers.

The food safety need

Food safety remains a major issue in Australia and around the world, with companies that fall short on their responsibilities receiving more negative publicity and seeing the brands tarnished. The cost of unsafe food handling to business is high and increasing, with harsher penalties for vendors and the prospect of litigation.

There are a wide range of causes of the estimated 2,000,000+ cases per annum of food contamination issues (such as food poisoning)^, but industry research has discovered damp hands are 1,000 times more likely to cross contaminate.

“In terms of efficiency, the Dyson Airblade hand dryer undoubtedly offers an effective hand drying solution,” Karen Constable, Head Researcher at HACCP, contends. “It eliminates the major concerns that the food industry has had with electric hand dryers and offers a real food safe alternative to other methods.”

“We look at many new products and initiatives that are aimed at the food market and it is encouraging to see a new product that is economical, functional and also hygienic.”

Recently unveiled in Australia, the Dyson Airblade hand dryer has already had local success by receiving a New Product Award at its first public launch. It has now been introduced in food manufacturing areas at Cargill’s, Kellogg’s, Fletcher’s International, KFC, Tabro Meats, Wingham Beef and George Weston Food’s Tip Top bakeries, as well as a number of kitchens at McDonalds Restaurants.

*Based on average usage of 200 times each day.

^HACCP Australia data