Personal Hygiene – Your Best Defense
Personal hygiene in the workplace is important no matter the establishment, but is especially important in the food service industry. Not only does poor personal hygiene put your customers at risk for food borne illnesses, but it also plays an important part in your reputation. Consider this scenario; you walk into a sub shop. The worker behind the counter is wearing a dirty uniform, has greasy unkempt hair, and dirty fingernails. I don’t know about you but I do not want them assembling my sub whether they wear gloves or not. This will repel customers and put your restaurant at risk.
So...how can you defend your establishment with good personal hygiene?
These simple steps will help guard your establishment from unwanted food borne illnesses as well as boost your image and reputation with your customers. Managers – make sure your employees are trained to follow these basic steps, and follow up regularly to ensure they are being followed.
STEPS TO PRACTICE GOOD PERSONAL HYGIENE
- Shower before coming to work.
All employees should shower daily before coming to work. This ensures overall cleanliness and avoids excessive body odor.
- Wear a clean uniform.
It is very important to wear a clean uniform each day. This also ensures overall cleanliness; wearing a dirty uniform transfers bacteria into your establishment.
- Trim fingernails.
Keeping fingernails short and clean is important to avoid spreading bacteria. Some studies believe that 90% of the germs on your hands are under your finger nails. Keeping nails long and not cleaning properly makes the odds of potentially dangerous bacteria being transferred to food even higher.
- Keep hair clean and pull up.
Nobody wants to find a hair in their food. This is a quick way to kill an appetite and lose business. All hair should be kept clean and washed. Long hair needs to be pulled back and secured. Avoid clips and pins that could fall out and into the food as well.
- Do not touch your face.
Avoiding touching your face not only keeps YOU from getting sick, but it also keeps you from getting others sick. Any touching of the face has the potential to pick up and transfer bacteria and oils to and from mucus membranes.
- Wash hands regularly.
Proper hand washing has been a basic in personal hygiene since the beginning of time. It is especially important when working in the food service industry. Even if you plan to wear gloves, hands need to be washed before. If you touch the gloves with dirty hands to put them on – the gloves are dirty. When in doubt, wash. Use common sense and err on the side of caution.
Practicing good personal hygiene is something that everyone in the establishment can do to protect yourselves and others. Whether you come into contact with food or not, it is a vital role in avoiding foodborne illnesses.
Reach out to us if you have any questions regarding Personal Hygiene or Food Safety. Elite Food Safety Training is your partner and we are happy to help!