Micro-organisms can spread throughout the food preparation area and get on hands, cutting boards, knives and counter tops. Frequent cleaning can keep this from happening. Proper hand washing is one of the most important things you can do to prevent food borne illness. Proper cleaning of food items, food preparation utensils and surfaces are also key preventative activities.
Thoroughly washing hands, using warm soapy water, may eliminate nearly half of all cases of food borne illness.
Hand washing with soap and water is preferred over alcohol based hand sanitizer in food premise areas.
Wash your hands:
- when you arrive at work;
- before preparing, serving or eating food items and particularly after handling raw meats, poultry and raw vegetables;
- after handling dirty dishes;
- after you have been to the washroom;
- after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose;
- after mopping the floor or any other cleaning duty;
- after handling chemicals;
- after handling any animals.
When preparing and serving food:
- Use proper utensils to handle food instead of direct contact with your hands.
- Keep your fingernails short and free from polish. Use a nailbrush to remove any microorganisms under the nails. Do not share nailbrushes.
- Remove jewellery from your hands and wrists. Jewellery can trap dirt and pathogens. You may unknowingly lose a piece of jewellery in the food.
- Wipe your hands with disposable paper towels. If you wipe your hands on a cloth or clothing you could end up transferring dirt and bacteria back onto your hands.
- Do not use gloves in place of proper hand washing.
Properly clean food items, food preparation utensils and surfaces:
- Wash all fruits and vegetables including those that you peel or cut like melons and oranges.
- Use a clean vegetable brush to clean fruits and vegetables. Use the brush while rubbing the food item under cold running water.
- Wash and sanitize all counter tops, cutting boards, taps and sinks. Don’t forget the handles of drawers, fridges, etc in the food preparation area.
- Wash dishcloths with hot soapy water after each use.
- Change dishcloths, aprons and towels often.
Last modified: February 19, 2020