Just like plant cleaning and sanitation, personal hygiene is a critical part of production in a safe food environment.
Personal hygiene is also part of the plant SSOP (Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures), which conforms to the GMP Regulations. Food handlers should practice the following to ensure safe production of food.
- Practice hand washing
- Keep self-clean
- Stay healthy
- Report illnesses
- Wear clean appropriate clothing
- Avoid unsanitary habits at work
Hand washing is very important in food operations because improper hand washing can lead to cross contamination and may result in the spread of food borne illnesses. Hand washing is the best method to reduce food borne transmission and cut down fecal-oral route that would cause these illnesses.
When do food handlers need to wash their hands?
- After using the restroom
- Before and after handling raw food
- After touching, face or body
- After sneezing and coughing
- After eating, drinking and smoking
- After using cleaning or sanitizing chemicals
- After taking out the garbage or other trash
- After clearing tables or busing dirty dishes
- After touching soiled aprons or clothes
- After touching anything that may contaminate - such as unsanitary equipment, work surfaces or cleaning clothes
Hand sanitizers are specially made liquids used to lower the number of microorganisms on the skin surface. They may be used after washing the hands, however sanitizer should never be used in place of proper hand washing.