The Importance of Hand Washing


When it comes to handling food, you want to make sure your environment and your staff are as clean as possible. One of the easiest ways to combat harmful bacteria is by simply washing your hands. Effective hand washing prevents the spread of bacteria and contamination, and only requires a few simple steps.

Proper Hand Washing

  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. Health code dictates that proper hand washing also includes the forearms.
  3. Rinse with warm water.
  4. Dry hands with disposable towels or wall-mounted hand dryer.

When 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

Don’t Skip the Water!

Some hand care products claim to be effective without washing or rinsing with warm water. Hand washing without water is not considered to effectively remove soil, grease and bacteria/viruses. Just take the extra few seconds and wash your hands properly. It could save you a whole lot of money and headache in the long run.

photo credit: UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS via photopin cc


About Author

Rachael Niswander

Rachael is a writer in Denver, Colorado with an affinity for food and all things food-related. When she isn't writing or doing other foodie things, Rachael enjoys reading, hooping, tattoos, dancing, learning about herbs and natural living, and spending time with friends, her husband Michael and their two cats, Tip Toes and Pippin.

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