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Chapter 1
Personal Hygiene

A. Hand washing

When done properly, hand washing is one of the most effective ways food handlers must do to prevent foodborne illnesses. To make sure washing is effective, follow this procedure:

  1. Use hot water.
  2. Apply bar or liquid soap. Antibacterial soap is not necessary.
  3. Scrub vigorously for 10–15 seconds, making sure to wash in between fingers and under nails.
  4. Rinse thoroughly.
  5. Use paper towel to turn off faucet.
  6. Dry hands on a clean paper towel or with a hand dryer.
  7. If in a restroom, open door with a paper towel.

Hand washing should occur frequently, and should always be done in the following instances:

  1. After using the restroom
  2. Before putting on gloves
  3. After handling a soiled or dirty dishes or utensils
  4. After touching money
  5. After touching raw meat
  6. Before food preparation

B. Gloves

Depending on your role in the food service industry, you may be required to wear gloves. Make sure the gloves you are provided with fit comfortably. They should be changed frequently, and also in the following instances:

  1. Before beginning a new task
  2. Before handling ready-to-eat food (such as an apple or bag of chips).
  3. After handling raw meat or seafood
  4. Whenever they are dirty or damaged

C. Appearance

As a member of the food service industry, you are also expected to keep a neat and clean appearance. This means trimmed nails, clean clothing, and loose or long hair fastened securely back. Artificial nails and finger nail polish are typically not allowed, and many employers do not allow jewelry (though some make an exception for a plain wedding band). If you have an injury or sore on your arm or hand, the affected area should be covered with a bandage and a finger cot and/or glove. If the injury is oozing or infected, you should not handle food.

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

Providing Tools and Support for Legally Blind Vendors in the Food Service Industry