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One of the most effective ways to prevent contamination of food is by washing hands. This article explains the importance and a step by step guide.
Hands host trillions of bacteria that can be transferred to food when not washed correctly.

Hand washing facilities

Washing hands regularly is essential. Equally important as the hand washing process is using the appropriate facilities:

  1. Hand washing should be carried out in a designated hand washing sink. Do not wash your hands in a food preparation basin!
  2. Taps should be lever or foot pedal operated to avoid re-contamination.
  3. Soap and sanitizer should be contained in dispensers. Do not use bar soaps as these spread bacteria and re-contaminate your hands!
  4. Use single use drying aids such as paper towels or air dryers.
  5. The water supply should be hot.

Washing your hands

Hands are the main carrier of diseases. They are constantly in contact with food, surfaces, our bodies, and other people. Just as a doctor would scrub up for work, so must Hospitality workers and food handlers. You should always wash your hands prior to starting work. Not only that, but you should also wash your hands every time you:

  1. Go to the bathroom.
  2. Every time you enter a food preparation area, regardless of whether you washed them in the bathroom.
  3. Touch/scratch body parts, e.g., hair, nose, mouth
  4. Smoke
  5. Cough, sneeze or blow your nose.
  6. Take a break or start your shift.
  7. Eat or drink.
  8. Handle raw food.
  9. After handling money
  10. After treating a wound
  11. Change from one task to another.
  12. Handle animals

How to wash your hands

Step 1

Wet your hands under hot running water (don’t burn yourself!)

Step 2

Lather hands with an anti-bacterial liquid soap.

Step 3

Scrub hands thoroughly including between the fingers, the wrists, up to the elbows and under nails.

Step 4

Rinse off hands under hot running water.

Step 5

Dry hands thoroughly using single use paper towels.

Step 6

Apply a sanitizer.

Step 7

Repeat this process throughout the day


Now wash your hands using this technique. How long did it take? Is this any different from the way you usually wash your hands and why?

Remember this hand washing technique will also kill the COVID virus.

© International Culinary Studio
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Food Safety and Personal Hygiene in a Professional Kitchen

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