Should I be using respirators or face masks in my food processing facility if I haven’t previously?

The current shortage of facemasks and respirators has put a lot of pressure on food processing facilities that have been using these as a part of their processes for a long time.

Some are having to pay a lot higher prices to procure masks, and some are having to reconsider their protocols.


This raises the question; if we haven’t been using a mask or respirator in food processing areas, should we start?

The answer is probably no, especially if your only reason for doing so is in regards to COVID-19.


The WHO has made it clear that they only recommend wearing a mask if you are experiencing symptoms of the virus, or if you are taking care of an individual with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.


The most effective steps for prevention of the spread of viruses are:

-Frequent hand washing with soap and water, and thorough drying

-If hand washing is not available, use a hand sanitiser

-Avoid touching the face

-Where possible, request that employees that feel unwell stay home

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