If you work in the food or food & beverage industry and, until now, have always used plastic keyboards, know that you have made a big mistake.
When we talk about the Food & Beverage Industry sector, we are actually referring to different realities, all encompassed under the same name.
For example, we are talking about biscuit factories and environments where, in general, a great deal of dirt is mobilised, from the food and the machinery that produces it.
But we are also talking about meat-processing environments, where fat and grease from the meat play a major role.
But there are also food laboratories: and all those environments where food is sold (such as bars, restaurants, fast food outlets, etc.).
As you can see, the world of the food industry is vast.
But there is one thing that all these environments have in common.
Working in the food and beverage industry imposes a very high level of cleanliness, hygiene and sterilisation.
For this reason, operators in these environments usually use appropriate protection that guarantees them a very high level of hygiene (a trivial example: silicone gloves).
But in addition to adequate protection, it is important that those who work in these environments also use suitable IT tools to work in absolute safety: we are talking, for example, about keyboards and mice, tools that are the main vehicle for the transmission of dirt, viruses and bacteria.
Keep one thing in mind: food sectors are environments where a lot of dirt accumulates during work.
They are environments where workers are in perpetual contact with food, grease, animal fat and dirt in general.
But what does this have to do with keyboards and mice, you may be wondering?
Unfortunately, many industries (including the food industry) use the 'common' plastic keyboards that we are all familiar with.
But what not everyone knows is that plastic keyboards are a dangerous vehicle for dirt and bacteria.
Because due to their design, dirt, viruses, bacteria and food contamination nestle between the cracks of the keyboard.
And once they have nestled between the keys, after that... they never go away.
And if you touch a dirty keyboard and then also touch the food you are working with, that is a big problem for you.
Plastic keyboards present many problems.
First of all...
1) They are not washable, consequently: they are not hygienic.
You can't wash a plastic keyboard, and even when you try to clean the keys of all the dirt, you have to stand there lifting them one after the other, and that's not even enough: because you'll never be able to clean a plastic keyboard thoroughly, even if you're removing the keys every day and digging like crazy!
2) They are not waterproof. And this is a problem for two reasons: because if you insist on using plastic keyboards in a food environment, you will know from the outset that you will have to come into contact with liquids or external agents: and if your computing devices are not waterproof, what can happen?
What happens is that, after a while, they will break, as water and - for example - animal fat are corrosive to a keyboard. And, in order to protect it, you will find yourself having to wrap your keyboards in cellophane (every single day).
3) Plastic keyboards break easily. They last, on average, only two years (if you use them in food they last even less!).
4) They are difficult to sanitise. To wash a plastic keyboard you have to remove every single key and clean (by hand) in the slot below the keys.
You would spend maybe even an hour of effort and then what?
Solving nothing, in concrete terms. Because plastic keyboards are not completely washable.
Simply put: you can never clean them thoroughly.
And we always come back to the same point: having a computer tool that you can't wash, sanitise and that constantly produces dirt is a big problem.
Especially if you work in a food environment, where cleanliness is the watchword.
And there is no solution to this problem other than.... changing the type of keyboard.
The choice, fortunately, is varied.
What you need to understand, first of all, is that to work in a food or food & beverage industry in a safe and hygienic manner, you need industrial keyboards.
These are categorised into:
1) Silicone keyboards
2) Glass keyboards
3) Steel keyboards.
Their use depends on the sector in which you find yourself working.
But in general, we can say that these types of industrial keyboards share the same positive characteristics:
1) They are highly hygienic: silicone and glass keypads guarantee maximum sterilisation and cleanliness, and they are uncontaminated from the environment because
2) it is a crack-free surface, so dirt and liquids cannot penetrate and stagnate inside
3) they are totally impermeable and their material can be immune to even the most aggressive liquids, especially for cleaning. So they do not corrode or break and are easily sanitised: throw away the cellophane, because these keyboards can be switched off and cleaned with a single wipe with a cloth and cleaning fluid! All without having to disconnect them from the PC or ruin them
4) and last but not least... they are industrial keyboards; therefore, they are very durable and last a long time. You never have to change them because they don't break.
But, since the food industry is so wide-ranging... which of these keyboards can you use depending on the area you work in.
We can give you general guidelines (if you want more specific information, you can ask our technicians for a free consultation and find out which keyboard is right for you).
Let's take an example: if you work in a biscuit factory, for example, you will find yourself having to pay a lot of attention to cleanliness, especially after work.
So silicone keypads are ideal for you, where dirt cannot seep through the cracks.
Glass ones are good for all areas, especially areas where a high degree of hygiene is required: such as meat processing environments or food laboratories, for example.
Steel is used more for machinery because of its robustness: it does not oxidise, so it can be washed.
And it is also vandal-proof.
Stainless steel keyboards are used because they are highly resistant to mechanical stress, such as impacts with work tools.
Of all these, we can say that silicone keypads are usually the most used for the food industry.
Silicone also protects the keyboard from dust, as it is easily washable: these keyboards have a waterproof membrane that prevents dust and dirt from entering (in fact, there is no space between the keys) and prevents animal grease from corroding the keyboard and ruining it.
Silicone keyboards do not break and aesthetically they are the ones that look best.
We have seen which keyboards you should avoid if you work in the food industry and which are best suited.
Now let's see why you should buy your food industry keyboards from us.
As we have just seen, there are many different models of industrial keyboards for the food or food and beverage industry.
Our real strength is that we have experienced and dedicated staff who can advise you on exactly which keyboard you need for your business.
In addition, we have a large stock and can therefore customise keyboards on demand.
Take advantage of our testing programme: request a keyboard on consignment before you buy it. This way, you will avoid incorrect purchases and save money and time.
If you work in the food or food and beverage sector and are looking for hygienic, fully waterproof keyboards that are perfectly suited for your industry, contact us for a free consultation!
Trust the experts at Industrial Keyboards.