employee hand washing

Restaurant Management 101: Employee Hand Washing

employee hand washing
It’s no secret that regular hand washing is essential to good hygiene. This is especially true in restaurant environments, where food contamination can run rampant under unhygienic circumstances.

If you want to prevent the spread of microorganisms and bacteria in your restaurant, it’s important that your employees understand the basics of hand washing – before they begin serving your customers.

How should employees wash their hands?

Hand washing compliance starts with the right supplies. Your employees certainly can’t do an effective job without the basics:

When washing, your employees should begin by wetting their hands and forearms. Next they should add a pump of foaming hand soap. The soap should be rubbed over the surface of the skin – making sure to get the fingers, wrists and under the nails.

Approximately 20 seconds of rubbing and lathering should occur before rinsing. We’ve all heard tricks like sing happy birthday or say your ABC’s while you wash, but in most cases that’s doesn’t allow enough time for a thorough washing.

Once 20 seconds have passed, the soap should be rinsed away with warm running water, followed by a complete drying with paper towels or a hand dryer. It’s important to point out that employees should not dry their hands using their pants or apron. This can re-contaminate the hands.

When should employees be washing their hands?

  • In advance of food preparation. Food preparation is defined as working with any food equipment and utensils.
  • Any time the hands coming in touch with bare skin (e.g., touching their face or hair).
  • After using the restroom.
  • After touching or handling an animal.
  • Any time an employee sneezes or coughs.
  • Several times throughout the food preparation process to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Prior to presenting food to customers.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons