- Traditional Medicine > Traditional, Complementary and Herbal Medicine
- Quality and Safety: Medicines > Quality Assurance
(2003; 80 pages) [French] [Spanish]
4.7.2. Health, hygiene and sanitation
All production of medicinal plant materials by agriculture and collection should conform to national and/or regional regulations on safety, materials handling, sanitation and hygiene.
All those involved in the handling and processing of cultivated or collected medicinal plants should in all processing procedures comply with national and/or regional regulations on hygiene.
All personnel should be protected from contact with toxic or potentially allergenic herbs by means of adequate protective clothing, including gloves.
All personnel known, or suspected, to be suffering from or to be a carrier of a disease or illness likely to be transmitted through medicinal plant material, should not be allowed to enter any harvest, production or processing area if there is a likelihood of their contaminating medicinal plant materials. Any persons suffering from diseases or symptoms of illness should immediately report to the management. A medical examination of personnel should be carried out if clinically or epidemiologically indicated.
Illness and injuries
All personnel with open wounds, inflammations or skin diseases should be suspended from work or required to wear protective clothing and gloves until full recovery. Persons suffering from known airborne or food-borne communicable diseases, including dysentery and diarrhoea, should be suspended from work in all areas of production and processing, in accordance with local and/or national regulations.
Health conditions that should be reported to the management for consideration regarding medical examination and/or possible exclusion from handling of medicinal plant materials include: jaundice, diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, sore throat with fever, visibly infected lesions (boils, cuts, etc.) and discharges from the ear, nose or eye. Any personnel who have cuts or wounds and are permitted to continue working should cover their injuries with suitable waterproof dressings.
Personnel who handle medicinal plant materials should maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness, and, where appropriate, wear suitable protective clothing and gloves, including head covering and footwear.
Personnel should always wash their hands at the start of handling activities, after using the toilet, and after handling medicinal plant materials or any contaminated material.
Smoking and eating should not be permitted in medicinal plant processing areas. Personnel who handle medicinal plant materials should refrain from behaviours that could result in contamination of the materials, for example, spitting, sneezing or coughing over unprotected materials.
Personal effects such as jewellery, watches or other items should not be worn or brought into areas where medicinal plant materials are handled if they pose a threat to the safety or quality of the materials.
Visitors to processing and handling areas should wear appropriate protective clothing and adhere to all of the personal hygiene provisions mentioned above.