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National Restaurant Association - ‘Hand’-y tips for proper hygiene

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‘Hand’-y tips for proper hygiene

Good personal hygiene is important to prevent foodborne illness. One of the most important aspects of good personal hygiene is proper hand-washing.

Every day, our hands touch surfaces covered with disease-causing microscopic organisms. Because all people  can spread pathogens – including those who are healthy – good hand-washing is key.

Although it can seem basic and routine, many food handlers fail to wash their hands correctly and as often as needed.

Ensure staff wash hands in sinks designated for hand washing. They shouldn’t use dishwashing, food prep or utility sinks.  Food handlers must wash their hands before they start work and after the following activities:

  • Using the restroom
  • Handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood (before and after)
  • Touching the hair, face or body
  • Sneezing, coughing or using a tissue
  • Eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum or tobacco
  • Handling chemicals that might affect food safety
  • Taking out garbage
  • Clearing tables or busing dirty dishes
  • Touching clothing or aprons
  • Handling money
  • Leaving and returning to kitchen/prep areas
  • Handling service animals or aquatic animals
  • Touching anything that could contaminate hands, such as dirty equipment, work surfaces or wiping cloths

September is National Food Safety Month. Check out free resources for foodservice professionals.

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