If there’s one thing we can do to take care of ourselves that impacts others, it’s personal hygiene. When we practice proper hygiene habits, we look better, smell better and are more pleasant to be around.
But personal hygiene is an often overlooked aspect of food safety. Food handlers in Utah need to think about it constantly to ensure the safety of the people who eat the food you handle. Here are five ways to improve yours.
Regular Hand Washing
First, the technique we all know about, but one where we need to be intentional—especially if we’re handling patrons’ food. This is the foundation of food safety and personal hygiene. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before handling food, after using the restroom or whenever you touch surfaces that may be contaminated.
Proper Glove Usage
Gloves add a barrier between your hands and food, which is beneficial, but only if you use them properly. That means knowing when to wear them, how to change them and even when to wash hands while wearing gloves. While gloves are a great extra precaution, they shouldn’t replace other personal hygiene techniques like hand washing.
Also known as PPE, personal protective equipment might be necessary depending on your environment and how you handle food. Be sure to use gear like hairnets, aprons and face masks as needed to minimize the risk of contamination. It’s also helpful to seek out training on this protective gear so you know how to use it properly.
Speaking of training, a food handlers course will train you (or give you a refresh) to avoid food safety mistakes in several areas. Even if you already have your card, it’s never a bad idea to take another course. (It also looks good to potential employers if you’ve received yours recently.) Some particular areas of food handling and personal hygiene that can be beneficial include training on food allergies and sensitivities.
Health and Illness Policies
Finally, food establishments and facilities implement health and illness policies and it’s responsible for employees to follow them. Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms of an illness (e.g. fever, vomiting, diarrhea). The clearer the policy, the easier it is for employees to follow it and keep guests safe.
These are just a few ways food handlers can improve personal hygiene and it’s one of the many topics covered in our Utah food handlers course. Enroll today!