4 min readNov 2, 2023



Did You Know? Almost half of the 91 million annual cases of foodborne illness in Africa are attributed to poor hand hygiene. In other words, your employees' hand washing techniques can do more than just gross customers out - they can actually make customers sick.

Here is the reality! The dangers of foodborne illness in the food industry are real. One virus or bacteria can spark a recall, endanger customers, hurt your brand and cost you greatly. While proper hygiene and cleaning is important with every aspect of food production, it starts with employees. In fact, almost half of the time, the bacteria are introduced by poor hand hygiene. Handtek: A New Line for Defence Against Foodborne Illness.

What All Does It Detect? The HandTek hand scanner looks for specific signs of dangerous bacteria and viruses that cause foodborne illness including E-Coli, Norovirus, Salmonella, Listeria, and Hepatitis A. Building a Food-Safety Culture! Ensuring a safe food production site means having good practices as part of your employee DNA. That’s why the HandTek Dashboard is designed to show you the frequency and efficacy of hand washing at both the individual and the team level.


This gives you real-time insight your business operations, allowing you to help create a positive food sanitation culture. That’s where HandTek may help. It provides instant detection of bacteria and virus indicators (including Norovirus, E. coli, Listeria, Hep. A, and Salmonella), and if the employees fail the screening, they must go back and wash their hands again until they pass. Not only do your employees receive instant actionable feedback, but you get helpful data as well! The scanner recognizes each person using a biometric ID, so it can compile individual and team data to help you identify risks and trends. We know you will love the peace of mind you get from this device. You’ll have the information you need to ensure hand washing compliance (much more effectively than an "Employees must wash their hands" sign), as well as to create a positive sanitation culture. Your customers will thank you! We can envision how invaluable this technology could be in the food service operations of hospitals and senior living centres, places where immune systems can be weakened and foodborne illness can prove fatal. It could be a real life changer. Now, there’s an easy and reliable way to check for indicators of bacteria and viruses.

and drying their hands, employees scan hands with HandTek. The hands free technology recognizes team members. HandTek uses light-based technology to detect indicators of pathogens that cause foodborne illness. The 2 second scan gives an instant result. When a contamination is detected, team members are directed to rewash and rescan before returning to work.

Simple display of how it is used

Individual and team hand washing data are displayed on the HandTek Dashboard so stakeholders can measure and improve hand washing practices. What Kind of Scan Is It? Will It Hurts People’s Skin and/or Eyes? The HandTek hand scanner uses a technology called “visible light fluorescence spectroscopy.” It measures the reflection of light off your hands to determine whether or not a set of proprietary markers are present.

Blue light used

The light is not dangerous. The color of the light used during the scan is in the visible spectrum, it does not use UV rays and it does not emit UV radiation. How Big Is It? 11.61″ length x 8.38″ width x 4.42″ height. So it’s easy to fit into your washing station.
It is composed of two sensors (temperature sensor and light motion sensor),ESP 8266 board , blue light, and a 5 seconds scan for this to get the feedback immediately.
For the hardware part we used the main controller which is esp8266 it is used to control other microcontrollers we used, as espe32 cam wifi module which controls the camera for capturing images for our AI system to analyze it and the provide the feedback with ov2640 camera module.

We also used temperature sensor module which is MLX19614 and as well as blue lights to provide the light that scan the germs on person’s hands

For the software part currently we used Arduino to tell those controllers what to do, we also imbedded html, css and JavaScript for dashboard that will be providing a message to a user

Simple portrait of the device

Also the AI system which will be a brain of this project, we used tensorflow and OpenCV for analysis images the device take. And thanks to Open Skies foundation I was able to achieve all these.

In fact the HandTek device is a prime solution in the journey of maintaining a healthy life and clean environment.

Written and Published by: Ange Noella ABAYISENGA (Founder and CEO of HandTek)