Primus has developed a hygienic laundry solution fully compliant with the RABC quality management system, aimed at avoiding microbiological contamination of persons and products during the laundry process. Tim Bacon, Director: Middle East, Africa & India for Alliance Laundry Systems, explains why RABC is gaining importance in the hospitality laundry process.
Primus has developed a full range of barrier washers in order to simplify and to optimize the setting up of your laundry offering the best protection for employees, patients / customers and the best prevention against the spread of micro-organisms and superbugs. When adopting the Primus hygienic solution, the operation of your in-house laundry conforms with the highest hygienic practices:
• Respect RABC for ‘walk forward’ principles for best laundry process.
• Physical wall separates the laundry in two parts: soiled area and clean area.
• No risk of contact or crossing between soiled and clean linen.
• As an option, separate atmosphere pressures can be created between clean and soiled areas to prevent airborne re-contamination.
• Specific ‘hygienic’ programs for decontamination of laundry
• Offers the best protection against the spreading of infections.
• Guarantees your investment in the future by anticipating the next regulations.
• Secure traceability through ‘Trace-Tech’, Primus’ laundry management system.
RABC is an abbreviation of Risk, Analysis and Biocontamination Control. RABC is a Quality Management System that is implemented globally. The RABC system is utilised to avoid microbiological contamination of persons and products in a laundry operation and to provide defined biological quality of laundered goods. Once implemented, the RABC system is controlled and quantified both by management information from the process and by external experts on an annual basis.
Whilst this has historically been seen as a solution for healthcare and clean room laundries, the Covid-19 pandemic has widened the application to include new segments. These include the hospitality, garment processing, food processing and public transport sectors.
With the global travel boom of the last 20 years, international cross border transits have increased by almost 400% to 1.4 billion people travelling annually. These are travellers from all over the world passing through travel hubs, using public transport and (mostly) staying in paid accommodation. Combined with more frequent business travel, this means that a hotel room can host a broad spectrum of guests (and their germs!) in a short period of time.
The spread of germs via a laundry is nothing new – back in 2003 when SARS hit parts of Asia, the original hotspot was traced back to a laundry worker. It is easy to see how one infected guest can spread bacteria simply by coughing on a pillow; which then gets handled by housekeeping, by a laundry operator or operators to sort, load, unload, dry, fold, stack the linen, by housekeeping again back to another room and then onto another guest.
Whilst we generally expect a laundry program to disinfect linen, that clean integrity is questioned if the same staff and linen transport are used for both soiled and clean linen. This is where the use of RABC and the installation of a barrier laundry makes sense. We know that the vast majority of hospitality properties take great care and already have excellent processes in place to prevent contamination and minimise risks – the upgrade to a managed and monitored barrier system is the next step in ensuring guests and staff safety. And it is a step that hundreds of properties globally are taking every month.
In addition to this is the advent of ‘Quarantine hotels’, those premises utilised by companies and governments to ensure management, containment and traceability of potential carriers and vulnerable persons. These hotels are run under strict guidelines and the laundry is an integral part of their system. With the need to prevent contamination spreading, a barrier laundry is an obvious choice. Whilst some premises were already utilising a barrier system, the others have generally been compelled to implement an RABC compliant barrier laundry. Indications at this stage are that the success of these measures is leading to property owners equipping their other key sites with barrier laundries – for both immediate concerns and bearing in mind the potential spread of other threats in the future.
The same trends are being seen in food processing, garment processing and other sectors leading us to surmise that barrier laundries are another, vital, tool in our armoury against health risks; and that in the near future we will see hotels offering RABC compliant barrier laundries in addition to the many other critical sanitising steps they currently offer.