5 Safe Hand-Washing Tips for Servers
Servers are superheroes, in a way. They have to handle a variety of different customer requests, preferences and personalities for their (multiple) tables, all while maintaining a positive attitude and monitoring what is going on in their area of the restaurant at all times.
Keeping track of everything can seem like a superhuman task!
That being said, washing hands properly should be at the top of a server’s priority list and is often mandatory in commercial kitchens. Whether you’re new to the restaurant industry or you’re a seasoned veteran, it’s always helpful to refresh yourself on safe hand-washing tips and techniques. Let’s go over five of them.
Know the Local Requirements
You might be interested to know that there can be certain hand washing requirements for commercial kitchens. These can include everything from where the sinks are located to how they’re used, the type of soap used, drying options and water temps. If you know your restaurant isn’t in compliance here, it’s time to speak up. If you’re not sure, research requirements in your area.
Make Sure You’re Doing It Properly
The way you wash your hands matters. Quick rinses with cold water won’t cut it. Here’s how to wash your hands the right way:
- Adjust the water to a warm or hot temperature
- Get soap and scrub your hands (and arms) for 20-30 seconds
- Rinse again with warm water
- Dry hands with a touchless hand dryer or paper towels
- Avoid touching faucets or doors once your hands are clean
Wash At the Right Time
Many food handlers aren’t sure when they should wash their hands, or how often. This depends on certain activities, some of which are obvious and some that aren’t. Here are some good guidelines for when you should wash your hands:
- Before preparing food
- After using the restroom
- Before putting on gloves
- After touching your phone or face
- Before handling clean service ware
- After using POS systems
The list goes on, but, as a rule of thumb, try to be mindful of your hand washing whenever you’re changing tasks.
Take Care of Your Hands
Hygiene and hand health play a role in maintaining clean hands. So while this isn’t a hand-washing technique, it is important for food safety. When it comes to hygiene, make sure your nails are trimmed (and you aren’t wearing any fake nails), and ensure you avoid nail polish and jewelry. For hand health, cover up and protect any wounds on your hands, wrists or arms.
Take A Certification Course
Finally, refreshing yourself on proper food and alcohol handling practices can help you remember to keep your hands washed and sanitized. If you’re mainly in the bar area or serve alcohol, a two-hour TABC certification course will cover a variety of ways to sell and serve alcohol responsibly. Or, consider a food handler course to stay updated on the latest food safety techniques. Either is a short, small investment that can pay big dividends for peace of mind, in addition to the fact that they’re required for servers in many states.
Want more restaurant food safety tips? Ready for both a food handler course and TABC certification? Enroll now or contact us at 972-800-8758 today if you have any questions.