The Critical FDA Food Code item #8 that is associated with an increased risk of food borne illness is (failure to keep) hands clean & properly washed. We covered item #9, glove use, in a previous blog post.
Food service workers need to have clean hands that are properly washed to prevent potential food borne illness and to practice standards of common courtesy. Washing hands and not touching ready-to-eat food with bare hands reduces the spread of germs, present on the skin, from contaminating food.
Food service workers should wash their hands:
• before starting work
• before putting on gloves
• after touching raw, fresh or frozen beef, poultry, fish or meat
• after mopping, sweeping, removing garbage or using the telephone
• after using the bathroom
• after smoking, eating, sneezing or drinking
• after touching anything that might result in contamination of hands
What is good hand washing?
All employees involved with food preparation should wash their hands with soap AND water for at least 20 seconds and then rinse.
How do you serve ready-to-eat food without using your bare hands?
Use tongs, spatulas, forks & spoons; deli paper, disposable gloves, waxed paper or napkins.
These foods should not be touched with bare hands:
• fresh fruits and vegetables served raw
• salads and salad ingredients
• cold meats and sandwiches
• bread, toast, rolls and baked goods
• garnishes: lettuce, parsley, lemon wedges, potato chips or pickles on plates
• fruit or vegetables for mixed drinks
• ice served to the customer
• any food that will not be thoroughly cooked or reheated after it is prepared
When scrubbing in for surgery, health care workers are taught to wash their hands for several minutes using a scrub brush and soap. Just like health care workers, food service workers are entrusted with the public health. Hand washing is critical.
In reviewing our Dining Grades database of nearly 3 million health department scores, we have discovered national trends. A subset of that database is the distribution of FDA Food Code top violations. Failure to clean and properly wash hands is a top trending violation. To see further reports, claim your restaurant listing.