Our hands are an important tool and are what differentiate us from the animals. Our hands have the ability to create and destroy, nowhere is this fact as apparent as it is in the food service industry. Clean hands are vital in the food preparation industry because dirty hands can spread disease and sickness to innocent people.
Good hand washing is particularly important to people involved in food preparation because food poisoning makes millions of people sick each year and costs the Australian economy millions of dollars in medical care, medication, time of work and lack of productivity caused.
Although we can’t actually see with our physical eyes that our hands are dirty, we must not take for granted that our hands are clean. Before eating or preparing food we should always wash our hands as a precaution.
Hand washing is vital in preventing contamination of food by food handlers. Harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureuspresent on the hands of food workers are removed by proper hand washing which is why it’s so important to be thorough.
This is the process to follow when washing hands:
- Wet/Pre-rinse with clean, warm running water
- Take liquid or foam soap
- Lather aggressively for 15-20 seconds and be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between fingers and under your nails.
- Rinse thoroughly under running water
- Dry with a single-use paper towel, clean cloth towel or air dry.