What is a sanitary mask?
When people hear the word, "sanitary mask" most would imagine a typical surgical mask that you see doctors or nurses wearing at hospital. Sanitary itself means hygiene or clean, therefore it is called a sanitary mask. As you can guess, the mask is to prevent germs from being spread from person to person as well as the user and the environment he or she is working at. In the US, the most prominent places that are used are in the hospitals and a few food factories. However, the practice has long been kept in most Asians countries from food service workers and applied to all factories.
If you have traveled to the first world countries in Asia, including Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, then you might have noticed that almost all kitchen employees would be wearing a sanitary mouth mask. This common practice has been standard due to the possible contamination of food from the food service workers. Just like how western kitchen workers wear hairnets to avoid hair getting into the food, it is the same for germs as well. Most of the time, we are not aware that all of the germs from the air we breathe out will fall down to hundreds of meals that is being prepped.
Although this is not a common practice here in the western countries, it is definitely an area that should be considered. When a restaurant or an area that handles food serves or handles food for hundreds or even thousands of customers. Each meal puts a customer at risk for something that we cannot see. Sanitary masks are something that can easily be implemented and it is not a high cost.
Just as most kitchen employees must wear gloves, the same can or should be applied for masks as well. Masks are very easy to use by simply putting it on around your ears and covering your mouth.
Why wearing a mask is important
Basically, wearing a face or mouth mask help prevent the spread of infection and prevent the employee from contracting any airborne infectious germs. When a person coughs, sneezes, or even talks they could release germs into the air that may get into the food or whatever the worker is working with. These sanitary masks are part of an infection control strategy to eliminate cross-contamination.
The solution is obviously quite simple and straightforward. Workers in these food, medical, cosmetic industries may wear a face mask to cover their mouth. It is a cost effective solution that well reassure the safety of their patients or products that are being produced.