Personal cleanliness is of big significance for each human, and it becomes even more important to people of some professions. We would like to talk about the importance of personal hygiene for food handlers because this group of people has particular responsibilities related to their personal hygiene and overall health.
We all understand how health and hygiene matter in our everyday life. It is the only natural way to fight infections, protect yourself from possible illnesses, and get rid of unpleasant odor. However, those people who are food handlers have to take extra care of their personal cleanliness. Let us have an interesting health talk on personal hygiene in the kitchen.
Who are food handlers?
Anyone who is working with food or eatable products is called a food handler. The people who are involved in this profession have contact with food every day or several days a week. They cook, serve food in cafes and restaurants, pack food in stores and sell it to customers.
People who store food, deliver products or even transport fruit, vegetables and bakery or any other type of eatable product are also referred to as food handlers. Thus, they have to follow specific health and hygiene requirements set by their country’s laws.
Importance of hygiene
Food handlers must be very careful and attentive when it comes to their hygiene. Even one bacteria or dangerous microorganism can cause horrible consequences, make someone ill, get to the hospital or get poisoned and even die.
Working with food means no jokes. This type of work requires your personal responsibility for your hygiene. Just perform simple things like washing hands after you cough or sneeze, never touch fruit and vegetables or cooked meat, touch nothing except food while cooking, etc. You should not taste meals with your finger while cooking and you have to use only clean utensils, etc. There are many simple rules, and studying your Food Safety Standards is the first step to learn how to prevent the possibility of contaminating food.
Personal cleanliness in food contamination law
It is impossible to describe the real importance of hygiene for food handlers in just two words. Lives of many of us fully depend on how these people pay attention to requirements and take care of their health. Dirty hands in the kitchen can lead to infections, illnesses, and even death. Being poisoned by products is never pleasant, so you have to read this post before you access your kitchen and begin cooking.
If you are working in a café, restaurant, with groceries, bakery and any eatable products that are delivered or handed over to customers, you should read and follow your country’s Food Safety Standards. If you are cooking for your family, you can also read this document or simply get acquainted with the main requirements we are about to list below.
Health and hygiene requirements
Each food handler and cook can easily contaminate food if he or she takes poor personal hygiene. Our bodies are the home for many dangerous bacteria that can get into the products, spoil them and harm human health. These bacteria are present in human hair, mouth, nose and, of course, on clothes and shoes.
Here are the main things you should do to take your personal hygiene and avoid food contamination.
Washing your hands
This is number one step on your list because it is an extremely important thing for personal cleanliness and good health care. Dealing with food requires clean hands. People who don’t wash their hands properly and cook food lead to product contamination and bacteria’s spreading all over the meals. Dirty hands and food is the simple way of catching Salmonella bacteria and ending up in a hospital.
It is must-do to wash your hands with soap and clean water after you touching meat, money banknotes or coins, your hair, face, clothes or going to the toilet. Even a tiny piece of feces has millions of dangerous microbes that must be washed off your hands before you start cooking or touching food in any way.
READ ALSO: Importance of Sanitation in Food Industry
Taking care of your health
If you are a food handler, you need to wash hands many times a day and take good care of your personal health. When you feel bad, have infection or illness, you must not work with products, foods, and meals. The chances you can contaminate everything are extremely high.
If you have tuberculosis, cholera, and other dangerous diseases, you are not allowed even coming close to food. You must not touch food if you vomit, experience diarrhea or other problems with your stomach, have a fever, sore throat, cough and sneezes.
There should be no open wounds on your hands and other parts of your body because it is also an easy way to transmit bacteria, infection, and viruses through meals and food products.
Any food handler who is not feeling good has to consult his or her doctor and make sure everything is ok with overall health.
Wearing clean clothes
Your uniform or other clothes you wear while working with food must be clean. It is always better to have a separate pack of clothes to wear just at your work, where you can change the clothes you usually were outside.
Dirty clothes can easily contaminate food and transfer bacteria and infections to people who get this food or eat it.
To minimize the risks of spoiling food, food handlers should clean their clothes with the best and safe cleaning products, store the clothing far from various sources of potential contamination. You should also get rid of all one-time used clothing such as gloves. Never re-use something that is designed to be used one time only.
Besides, you are advised to remove jewelry and tie your hair back or wear a special head cover while working with food because hair and jewelry can also contaminate meals.
Stay healthy, and remember our short health talk on personal hygiene when you are dealing with food or working as a food handler.
READ ALSO: Importance of food safety and sanitation