Hand Washing Keeps Our Food Safe…

Hand washing Keeps Our Food Safe

The role of our hands in transferring pathogens to high risk food, especially from food-handlers, should not be underestimated. Food handlers are often implicated in outbreaks of staph aureus, shigella, hepatitis etc. Viruses, bacteria, yeast, mould and parasites are all found on the outer layer of our skin. These organisms can stay on hands from a few minutes to several hours so frequent hand washing is important.

Effective washing can be the single most important way of preventing the spread of infection.

Hand washing technique poster

Food business managers must ensure that any food handlers wash their hands as and when needed  Explain hazards, follow correct procedures and document all annual training which proves staff are competent in procedures. Some food businesses frequently swab food handlers’ hands or test cleanliness under an UV light. Compliance is critical; therefore, staff disciplinary action may be necessary. Good handwashing practice is best done at a designated hand-wash station.

Check List to help prevent failure-

  • Train and motivate staff to wash hands. Supervise and monitor.
  • Provide adequate facilities soap, paper towels etc.
  • Use quality liquid soap that will lather and clean hands adequately.
  • Prompt staff with posters and notices all around the site.
  • Decrease skin irritation and dermatitis by having correct water temperature, emollient-free soap, do not over use a nailbrush.
  • Use a foot-operated bin which is emptied regularly.
  • Use appropriate skin lotion if needed.

Please contact us if you need a review of your hygiene processes and procedures.

This is a prerequisite to the implementation of HACCP.