Five Important Handwashing Facts That Food Handlers Know

Five Important Handwashing Facts That Food Handlers Know

If you’ve ever worked in food service, you know handwashing is a big part of the job. Unwashed hands are almost always how contamination is spread, and a professional food handler knows the importance of washing hands. Here are five important facts that will have you washing your hands like a pro.

1. Water Temperature Doesn’t Matter

Emerging science suggests the water temperature has no effect on whether or not you’re truly getting rid of germs. The winning combination is clean running water, soap, and friction. Turns out, running hot water can be more costly and end up irritating your skin.

2. Wash for at Least 20 Seconds

Yes, 20 seconds. When the CDC recommended a 20-second hand wash as a means to control the spread of COVID-19, many were surprised to learn they hadn’t been washing their hands long enough. But not food handlers. Understanding that rubbing their soapy hands together (and in between fingers) for at least 20 seconds helps drastically reduce the amount of germs on one’s hands is part of a professional food handler’s job.

3. Wet Hands Can Equal More Germs

Hands should be rinsed well after washing, and then dried well in a safe way, because wet hands spread germs more easily. A single-use paper towel or air drying are the best ways.

4. It’s Hard to Wash Your Hands Too Much

If you’re not washing your hands a lot, you’re not washing them enough. Foodservice professionals know to wash their hands before work, before and after tasks, and after they’ve touched their clothes, coughed, sneezed, or pulled their hair up. Their hands are also washed after breaks, after handling trash or raw ingredients, after cleaning… basically any time their hands could have become contaminated.

5. Hand Sanitizer Cannot Replace Washing Hands

Hand sanitizer is great in a pinch, if you can’t get to a handwashing sink, but a foodservice professional would never use hand sanitizer to replace washing hands.

Now you know enough to begin to wash your hands like a foodservice pro! Hands are a big way germs are spread from person to person, or person to thing, so washing hands is our best means of keeping one another safe from the spread of germs.

5 Important Handwashing Facts

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