The importance of handwashing

Harmful  bacteria,  or  pathogens,  are  found  on  almost  everything  we  touch.  People  can  carry them  in  or  on  their  bodies,  pick  them  up  when  handling  raw  food  or  by  touching  objects  that have been previously contaminated. Once our hands are contaminated, it is very easy for these harmful organisms to spread to our food and cause illness.

Effective handwashing prevents the spread of harmful bacteria and only requires a few simple steps:

  1. Wet hands with warm water.
  2. Apply soap to hands and lather vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Pay particular attention to fingernails, finger tips and in-between fingers.
  3. Rinse with warm water.
  4. Dry hands with disposable towels or blow dryer.

Food service personnel must wash their hands:

  • Before starting work.
  • After using the restroom.
  • Before and after handling ice.
  • Prior to and after using single-use gloves.
  • While preparing food, as often as necessary to remove excess soil.
  • When switching between tasks, such as preparing food and serving food.
  • After handling non-food items such as garbage bags or cleaning chemicals.
  • After touching exposed parts of the body or clothes, other than clean hands.
  • Between handling money and handling food, if not working solely at the register.

Water is necessary
Some hand care products claim to be effective without washing or rinsing with warm water. Hand washing without water is not considered effective in removing soil, grease and bacteria/
viruses.

Highlights

  • The presence of harmful bacteria or pathogens is likely present on nearly everything that we touch.
  • Effective handwashing prevents the spread of harmful bacteria.
  • Handwashing must occur whenever starting or ending any task.
  • Use soap and water to effectively remove soil, grease and bacteria.
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.