Proper Personal Hygiene Practices for Food Handlers

A food handlerAccording to the Food Safety Standard 3.2.2 of the Australian Government, food handlers are responsible for ensuring that they don’t make food unsuitable or unsafe to eat. This is why they have certain responsibilities regarding personal hygiene and health.

Proper Hand Washing

It’s vital to wash and dry your hands regularly and thoroughly, most especially:

  • Prior to preparing food
  • After handling eggs or raw meats
  • After going to the toilet

It’s a requirement you should never overlook because if your hands are damp, it’s easy for moisture — that might have hazardous viruses or bacteria — to transmit into food as well as kitchen equipment and food prep surfaces. Australian Institute of Accreditation added that food businesses should be responsible for making sure they provide proper hand washing facilities for employees and customers.

Personal Hygiene

The Australian Institute of Accreditation and other food safety experts recommend taking careful precautions to make certain you don’t contaminate the food or the surfaces used for preparing and cooking food. This is especially true if the food comes in contact with your body or things that you’re wearing. These include your fingernails, blood, sweat, mucus, saliva, hair, bandages, jewellery, or clothes. You could wear gloves to make sure you don’t contaminate food with your bare hands. It’s extremely crucial to change gloves as frequently as you wash hands. Likewise, you must still wash your hands prior to handling food even if you’ll be wearing gloves.

Personal Health

The majority of food poisoning cases are often due to sick food handlers who continue working regardless of their illness. In general, you mustn’t handle food if you:

  • Have been diagnosed with food poisoning
  • Know that you’re a food poisoning carrier — a person who’s ill but doesn’t exhibit symptoms
  • Are experiencing any food poisoning symptoms

It’s vital to note that you could pass on your illness to others if you handle food while you’re ill. That said, it’s best to stay away from food preparation for at least two days after your symptoms have improved since you could still have pathogens that cause food poisoning. As a food handler, it’s your job to make sure nobody will contaminate the food you’re handling by following the above-mentioned guide.