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National Restaurant Association - Clyde’s applauds hand-washing champs

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Clyde’s applauds hand-washing champs

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Employees of Washington, D.C.-based Clyde's Restaurant Group sidled up to the sinks in September to compete in the chain's 14th annual Hand Washing Competition.

The contest is held every year in conjunction with National Food Safety Month. This year, the event kicked off Sept. 7 at all Clyde's locations and ended with its Grand Championship Sept. 27.

According to Katie Boyle, coordinator for the hand-washing event, the championship was held at the Clyde's restaurant at Mark Center in Alexandria, Va. Approximately 300 front- and back-of-the-house employees competed for the grand prize.

This year's grand-prize winner was the team from Clyde's at Tower Oaks Lodge in Rockville, Md. It was their second win in a row, Boyle said. Second place went to the team from Clyde's at Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Va., and the team from Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C., came in third. Each team won a medal and prize of $1,200, $400 and $100, respectively.

The event was created as a fun and productive way to educate Clyde's employees on best food-safety practices, Boyle said. She added that the competition was developed by Ellen Schroth, a food-safety expert for the 14-unit casual-dining chain.

"It is a truly anticipated event, one that brings our staff together and focuses on food-safety awareness in a fun way at the same time," Boyle said.

The competition was judged in two parts: first, competitors were required to answer eight questions on health and sanitation. Then they competed in the hand-washing contest where they were asked to wash their hands for 80 seconds with a special glow-lotion, which highlights their hands under a black light. They were judged on both speed and cleanliness. Judges included officials from the local health department, the chain's insurance underwriter and a member of the National Restaurant Association's ServSafe training program team.

"It's great to give employees a good look to see which ‘spots' they're missing when they wash their hands," Boyle said. "Ideally, we can work on that so they have the cleanest hands possible. Clyde's is really meticulous about this; we always work to keep our guests' health and safety top of mind."

Pictured, top right: The grand-prize winners from Clyde's at Tower Oaks Lodge in Rockville, Md. The team took top honors for the second year in a row.

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