AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

Employee personal hygiene and health practices

Inadequate personal hygiene is the biggest cause of foodborne infections. What is the definition of personal hygiene? Personal hygiene practices are the general behaviors, activities, and actions that can assist food personnel in preventing the transfer of viruses and bacteria to food.

They are classified into four categories:

  1. Hand hygiene: employees must properly wash their hands, avoid wearing fingernail polish or artificial fingernails, use single-use gloves appropriately, and avoid touching ready-to-eat meals with their bare hands.

  1. Personal hygiene: food personnel must keep themselves clean, including showering or bathing before going to work.

  1. Work Clothes: Employees must wear effective hair restraints, clean clothing and aprons, and remove rings, bracelets, and watches before preparing food, washing dishes, and other tasks.

  1. Food personnel must notify their manager or person-in-charge if they are suffering from vomiting or diarrheal symptoms, and they must be removed from the operation until they are symptom-free for 48 hours or have written approval from a doctor.

When is it appropriate for staff to wash their hands?

After engaging in tasks that contaminate the hands, employees must wash their hands immediately. While entering a food preparation area, or when leaving and returning to one, When working with food, before putting on clean, single-use gloves and after changing gloves if the task has changed.

After handling soiled dishes, equipment, or utensils, or before handling clean equipment and serving utensils. When transferring between raw and ready-to-eat meals.

After touching your face, hair, or body, soiled clothing or aprons, or coughing or sneezing; after using the restroom; eating, drinking, smoking, using your cell phone, handling money, taking out the garbage, sweeping/mopping floors, using chemicals, cleaning/sanitizing, or any other activity that could contaminate your hands.

What are the benefits of healthy personal hygiene habits?

Good hygiene standards can be the difference between serving food that is safe to eat and serving food that could make someone sick. Poor personal hygiene, whether as a result of an employee’s disease or handling foods with bare hands, is responsible for over 70% of food-borne illnesses. As a result, hand washing is an important part of the food preparation process to prevent the spread of food-borne infections like norovirus.

What are the steps to proper handwashing?

  1. Turn on the water and wet your hands and arms with hot flowing water (at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit).

  1. Lather up with enough soap to get a good lather.

  1. Scrub your hands and forearms for at least 20 seconds, focusing on the areas between your fingers and beneath your fingernails.

  1. Thoroughly rinse your hands and arms under warm running water.

  2. Using single-use towels, dry your hands and arms, then switch off the hand sink faucet with the disposable towel.