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Personal Hygiene Checklist
Poor personal hygiene can lead to serious health-related consequences in food-orientated businesses, most notably food poisoning being one of them.
Having a personal hygiene checklist that helps ensure a safe working environment free from health hazards is a must for all food businesses. It will prevent the spread of potential foodborne illnesses that may cause irreparable damage to a business’s reputation.
Wobot’s personal hygiene checklist helps ensure personal hygiene at all outlets and prevents health emergencies that could emerge due to not following standard measures.
An apron acts as protective clothing food from contact with any foreign objects or substances such as dust, dirt, and germs. Complying with apron usage also prevents employees from the danger of dealing with different types of food.
Aprons are worn for the safety of an individual and to not contaminate the food preparation area. It serves as a precautionary measure in food preparation to maintain strict hygiene levels in the production area. It also provides a sense of functionality and facilitates a much safer and conducive space for food preparation.
Always remember to wear your apron before entering the cooking area. Wear a fresh apron every time before re-entering the production area to avoid external environmental contamination. Aprons will also keep your clothing from getting stains or spills. In addition, some industries provide disposable aprons that can be disposed of in a particular bin.
a. Make sure the apron is worn correctly.
b. Make sure the apron is clean.
c. Enter the food preparation area with a clean apron.
d. Correctly dispose of the apron.
a. Reuse an apron without washing.
b. Do not use a dirty apron.
c. Do not use your apron for rubbing stained hands.
Inadequate handwashing is one of the primary reasons for foodborne illnesses. It is especially true when dealing with raw meat and poultry. Handwash compliance helps ensure that the spread of harmful germs is reduced while minimizing foodborne diseases.
The pandemic has made us adapt to this new rule of washing our hands for at least 20 seconds whenever we step out or touch a foreign object/person. It becomes even more critical when dealing with food and food services to prevent contamination and minimize airborne disease spread.
The CDC also recommends that individuals wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the toilet or when hands are visibly dirty, before eating, and after blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing. In addition, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, but only when soap and water are not readily available.
a. The CDC recommends washing hands before, during, and after preparing food, especially meat and meat products, before and after eating, and after touching garbage.
b. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
c. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Next, lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
d. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
e. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
f. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
a. Provide handwashing stations based on the number of your employees and their placement
b. Train the employees to properly wash their hands using the verification method recommended by CDC
c. Keep handwashing/sanitization stations at areas where it is necessary to wash hands, such as close to garbage disposal area or near poultry products segregation.
d. Ensure your handwash soap is of a decent standard and is approved for handwash compliance.
e. Provide your employees with a clean cloth or paper towels to dry their hands.
a. Do not ask your employees to rush into the handwashing.
b. Do not forget to supervise time and again.
c. Do not discourage your employees from using hand sanitizer in case handwashing is not possible.
Gloves’ compliance is a must for food service employees diligently. Employees should not touch food with bare hands as it leads to the transfer of bacteria from the employees’ hands to the food.
Gloves have become a part of the post-pandemic world, especially at workplaces and industries like food and restaurant, retail, and health. Therefore, the CDC recommends using disposable gloves when cleaning, disinfecting, and cooking.
Recent studies have revealed foodborne diseases stem from cross-contamination, inadequate cooking temperatures of fresh food, and a lack of employee health and hygiene standards. In addition, the onslaught of Covid-19 has brought about many changes in how we maintain our hand hygiene routines. Contaminated hands can transfer bacteria and viruses, and other microorganisms by handling and preparing the food. Hence, it becomes imperative that restaurant employees adopt better hand hygiene protocols such as wearing gloves. For effective glove compliance, replace gloves after every four hours, irrespective of their associated use.
a. Always wear gloves while cooking.
b. Wash your hands before and after wearing gloves.
c. Change your gloves after touching raw poultry, seafood, or other types of meat.
d. Replace gloves immediately if they encounter contamination, such as in the case of sneezing or coughing.
e. After using disposable gloves, throw them out in a lined trash can.
a. Do not wear gloves hastily.
b. Do not use torn, damaged, or soiled gloves.
c. Do not touch your face while wearing gloves.
d. Do not reuse disposable gloves.
Hairnet compliance helps in preventing food contamination from harmful foreign objects such as hair. Employees with any hair length should use a hairnet as contamination can happen when any hair length falls onto a surface during the prepping, cooking, and plating processes.
To see hair in your food is unpleasant, and this feeling gets exaggerated when it is your favorite food from your favorite dish from your joint, for which you have paid money. Hairnet usage by restaurant staff and employees helps minimize the contamination in the customers’ food and is mandatory in the FDA’s 2013 food code.
All members working in restaurants and kitchens should wear hairnets without any exception. The hairnet should cover all hair and ears.
Open the hairnet and place it on your head, starting at the forehead, carefully stretching it back, and tucking it on the sides of your head and at the nape of the neck. Make sure no stray hairs are sticking out, and avoid stretching the hair net too wide, which can make it slip off your head.
a. Provide your staff with hairnets and keep a stock in the kitchen of fresh new ones.
b. Train your employees to properly use hairnets and encourage them to use them at all times.
c. Supervise them time and again and give them reminders whenever required.
d. Make sure ears are covered in the hairnet, and the net fits perfectly (neither too tight nor too loose).
e. The employees in packaging and processing areas should also use hairnets.
a. Do not dispose of your hairnet anywhere.
b. Do not scratch your head or face after wearing the hairnet, as it defeats the hairnet’s purpose.
c. Do not constantly touch your hairnet; it may lead to slipping off the hairnet.
Effective beard net compliance helps in preventing contamination caused by hair. Hair from the beard is as likely to fall out as hair on the head. Therefore, beard nets must be employed to avert food contamination by workers dealing with food.
While we all enjoy and miss going out to our favorite restaurants, the very idea that there might be hair in our food is enough to repulse anyone. Even worse is when someone ends up ingesting those fallen hairs while eating the food. Hence, specific measures need to be adopted to prevent such a mishap from occurring.
Hold the beard snood with the closure sides, holding the elastic in one hand and the beard snood body in the other. Locate the elastic to the back of the head and make sure the beard snood covers the nose.
The FDA’s 2013 Food Code requires food employees to wear “hats, hair coverings or nets, beard restraints, and clothing that covers body hair” at work.
Hairnets and beard nets are essential for two reasons: they prevent hair from falling into food or making contact with clean utensils, surfaces, and equipment, and they stop you from touching or scratching your head/face and transferring bacteria.
a. Beard nets should cover the hair and the ears.
b. One should restrain all hair within the net.
c. Give proper training to new employees and revise it regularly with your workforce to emphasize the importance of beard nets.
a. Do not forget to supervise time and again to ensure the proper following of the rules.
b. Do not dispose of your beard net anywhere.
c. Do not scratch your beard or face after wearing the net, as it defeats the purpose of the beard net.
Hijab compliance helps in ensuring that hair does not interfere with food-related work. A hijab also protects employees from getting their long hair stuck in machinery and rotating equipment, thereby protecting them from grave accidents and injuries.
Headgear compliance is an essential aspect in mitigating food contamination from harmful foreign objects such as hair. Employees with just about any hair length should don the headgear to prevent the hair from falling onto any surfaces or spaces during the prepping, cooking, and plating process.
To see hair in your food is unpleasant and this feeling only gets exacerbated when it is your favorite dish from your favorite restaurant, for which you have paid money. Therefore, people who work in food preparation and production must wear the appropriate head coverings such as a hairnet, bandana, or baseball cap to prevent possible food contamination.
All members working in restaurants and kitchens should wear head coverings, and there should be no exceptions to this rule. The appropriate way to wear the headgear is by carefully placing it on your head, starting at the forehead, and ensure that you tuck away the hair on the sides. Keep in mind that the bandana or the baseball cap should neither be too tight nor too loose. A loose headgear would easily slip off your head, while a tight one would cause significant discomfort. As such, the headgear should be an ideal fit with the shape of your head.
a. Provide your staff with suitable headgears and always keep extra stock available.
b. Instruct your staff on the ideal way to use the headgear and encourage them to use it at all times.
c. Supervise the staff regularly and give them reminders whenever required.
d. Ensure that all your hair and your ears are properly covered and secured.
a. The headgear gear should neither be too tight nor be too loose and should have an ideal fit.
b. Do not constantly touch your headgear, as it may slip off.
c. Avoid going long periods without washing your reusable headgear, such as bandanas or baseball caps.
Wearing sleeves when preparing and cooking food will offer protection to the employees and the consumers. The sleeves will ensure that no foreign substances or objects fall into the food, thereby preventing cross-contamination. Donning the sleeves will also serve as a barrier between the skin and hot spillages or appliances. Hence, having that extra layer of protection will reduce the likelihood of any mishaps.
Food preparation involves hot and dangerous equipment such as open flames, hot ovens, sharp knives, etc. Therefore, employees must adopt sleeves as they protect against any blunt impact, namely, scrapes, cuts, and abrasions. These sleeves are designed to resist these kinds of hazards.
Another reason why wearing protective sleeves is an integral part of the food preparation process is to prevent possible cross-contamination, leading to foodborne illnesses.
The food production areas often involve hot greases, oils, and equipment set at very high temperatures, making the employees vulnerable to burns on their skin. In this manner, the sleeves are designed to mitigate any skin contact against harmful substances or equipment. In addition, the quality of the sleeves should be durable enough that they act as protective gear against any kitchen-related accidents such as splashes, spillages, cuts, bruises, abrasions, and burns.
The sleeves will also significantly reduce the chances of cross-contamination by preventing foreign objects and substances from falling into the food. It is also essential to consider that if the employee preparing the food has hair on their hands and arms or is wearing jewelry on their hands, the sleeves would serve as a crucial barrier between these pollutants and the prepared food.
a. Ensure to wear the sleeves at all times during the food preparation process.
b. Ensure that the sleeves are a proper fit, and they should be neither too tight nor too loose.
a. Do not wear sleeves that are damaged, and in case they are, have them replaced immediately.
b. Do not wear sleeves that are dirty as that can contaminate the food. Hence, ensure that they are washed and cleaned regularly.