The Safe Food Handler

Clean-Sanitize      

There are five common mistakes by food handlers that can cause foodborne illnesses: 1. Buying food from a supplier that is not reputable and is not inspected and approved by appropriate governmental agencies 2. Failing to cook food correctly 3. Holding food in incorrect temperature 4. Using contaminated equipment and finally 5. Practicing poor personal hygiene. It is the responsibility of foodservice directors and managers to develop a food safety program that includes a good and effective personal hygiene program and a training program that educates food handlers how to prevent foodborne illnesses from occuring. The policies and procedures in the program must address handwashing, hand care, glove use, preventing the touching of ready-to-eat food with bare-hand, clothing, use of hair restraints, us of jewelry , and reporting illnesses.

How Food Handlers can Contaminate Food
(Biological-Chemical-Physical Contaminations)

  • When having a foodborne illness or have contact with a person who is ill
  • When having an uncovered wound containing pathogens
  • When sneezing and coughing
  • When they do not wash hands that are contaminated
  • When they have symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or yellowing of skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • When touching skin, nose, skin, hair, scalp,ear
  • When spitting in the operation
  • When wearing a dirty uniform
  • Not keeping fingernails short, clean, trimmed and filed
  • Using false fingernails and nail polish
  • Not covering wounds, cuts or boils
  • Not washing hands after using the restroom
  • Not washing hands before and after handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood
  • Not washing hands after touching the hair, face or body
  • Not washing hands after sneezing and coughing or using a tissue
  • Not washing hands after eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum or tobacco
  • Not washing hands after handling chemicals that might affect food safety
  • Not washing hands after taking out garbage
  • Not washing hands after clearing tables or busing dirty dishes
  • Not washing hands after touching clothing or aprons
  • Not washing hands after handling money
  • Not washing hands after leaving and returning to the kitchen and prep area
  • Not washing hands after handling service animals or aquatic animals
  • Not washing hands after touching dirty equipment, work surfaces, cloths or anything else that may contaminate hands
  • Not washing hands before using hand antiseptics
  • Using antiseptic in place of washing hands
  • Not waiting for antiseptic to dry before touching food and equipment
  • Eating or drinking food in preparation, service or dishwashing areas
  • Not eating food in the designated areas
  • Not using gloves when handling ready-to-eat-food except when washing produce
  • Using gloves in place of handwashing
  • Not washing hands before putting gloves and changing to a new pair
  • Not using gloves approved for foodservice
  • Not using single-use gloves and wash and reuse gloves, Must use disposable gloves
  • Not using right size gloves
  • Using gloves with rips and tears
  • Blowing into gloves before using them
  • Rolling gloves before using them and
  • Touching gloves anywhere but the cuffs
  • Not changing gloves before beginning different tasks
  • Not changing gloves after an interruption, such as taking a phone call
  • Not changing gloves after handling raw meat, seafood, or poultry and before handling ready-to-eat food
  • Handling ready-to-eat food with bare hands
  • Not taking a shower or bathe before work
  • Not following dress code or work attire guidelines
  • Not wearing clean hat and other hair or beard restraints
  • Wearing false eyelashes
  • Not wearing clean clothing
  • Not storing street clothing and personal belongings in designated areas
  • Not keeping dirty aprons, chef coats, uniforms and other dirty clothing away from food and prep areas
  • Wiping hands on aprons
  • Not removing rings, bracelets including medical bracelets, watches before prepping food or working in and around prep areas(only plain band is allowed)
  • Not reporting illness to managers before coming to work
  • Not reporting illness immediately when they become sick at work
    - A foodhandler with sore throat with a fever must be restricted to work around food until a written release from a medical practitioner.
    - A foodhandler with the above condition must be excluded from the operation serving a high-risk population.
    - A foodhandler with diarrhea, must be excluded from the establishment and returned if symptom-free for 24 hours or released from a medical practitioner.
    - A foodhandler diagnosed with a foodborne illness caused by Hepatitis A, Salmonella Typhi, Enterohemorrhagic and toxin-producing E. coli, Norovirus, and Shigella spp must be excluded from the operation and returned to work with permission by local regulatory authority and foodhandler's medical practitioner
  • Not washing hand correctly and often
  • Not washing hands in designated handwashing sinks
  • Washing hands in sink designated for food prep, dishwashing, or utility services
  • Not spending at least 20 seconds in the process of washing hands: wet hands and arms with water at least 100 F; apply enough soap to build up a good lather; scrub hands and arms vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds; rinse hands and arm thoroughly with warm water; dry hands and arms with a single-use paper towel or a hand dryer and finally use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and to open door when leaving the restroom
  • Not realizing that handwashing is the most important part of personal hygienep.