The second pillar is probably the most important in terms of eliminating cross-contamination. Hand washing and clean hands awareness is critical to food safety.
Dirty hands is known as one of the two main sources in which bacteria can be introduced into the kitchen environment.
The other is the source of your business; food.
When should you wash your hands?
Hand washing should take place between tasks such as between:
- Raw and ready-to-eat food preparation
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Cleaning tasks
- Entering and exiting the kitchen
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching garbage
- And most importantly after using the ablution facilities
Creating Awareness here is non-negotiable.
One of the biggest causes of food poisoning in the kitchen and at home are hands that are contaminated with harmful bacteria. Kitchen hygiene consultants are mainly concerned with two types of bacteria Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
These bacteria are known as indicator organisms that will alert us to unhygienic practices. This being the case because, E.coli occurs naturally in the human gut and tell us that the possibility of unwashed hands after using the ablution facilities has taken place. S.aureus can occur naturally in the nasal passages, also indicating unhygienic practices. These bacteria can also occur as a result of handling raw materials or on the skin of a person without harm.
In many countries it is a requirement to have regular health checks for food handlers to test for a natural S.aureus carrier and other infectious diseases. This is because regular antibiotic treatment would be needed, because these bacteria are also a heat-stable toxin producing pathogen.
Hence the importance of regular hand washing.
How to wash your hands in a hygienic manner:
- Clear off any excess food or dirt by rinsing under water
- Use a liquid hand soap and thoroughly wash your
- entire hand and forearm
- Rinse under warm water
- Dry your hands with paper towel
- Dispose of paper towel in a pedal bin
- Apply an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
For information of the food safety pillars check the ebook on Amazon
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