Personal Hygiene

Topics: Hygiene, Food safety, Foodborne illness Pages: 17 (5486 words) Published: April 17, 2012
Personal hygiene
People are a common source of pathogenic bacteria, so everyone who works with food must have the highest possible standards of personal hygiene and personal habits to avoid contaminating food. The public react to what they see:

It is always good practice to start work clean and tidy - this will give a good impression to any customers you meet; it also plays an important part in helping to protect food from contamination. It helps to have a bath or shower each day. This will remove some of the bacteria that are naturally found on hair and skin, this includes the bacteria that live on stale perspiration and cause body odour •Deodorants can help to prevent unpleasant body smells from developing after you have washed •However, you must avoid strongly scented deodorants, perfumes, aftershaves and other toiletries or cosmetics because they can taint food. •Do not wear jewellery and watches while working because bacteria can live on and under straps and rings. Most companies allow staff to wear a plain wedding ring and sleeper earrings. Ask about your company’s policy. Appropriate clothing

Never wear or carry outdoor clothes into a food area because they could contaminate food or surfaces. Store outdoor clothes away from food areas, your employer should provide a separate area or locker for this purpose. Always put protective clothes on before entering a food area. Protective clothing is not meant to keep your clothes clean; they are worn to protect food from contamination and you from harm. The clothes should be suitable for the task:

Clean and in good condition
Light coloured so they will show when they are dirty. This should prompt you to change them for clean clothing •Easy to clean
What you wear will depend upon the type of work you do.
Typical examples are:
Overalls, jackets, trousers, aprons.
Neck scarves, hats, hair nets, beard nets, moustache nets. •Non-slip shoes, boots, safety shoes.
Gloves, gauntlets.
Body warmers may be provided for use in cold temperatures. •A hat or head covering must cover as much of your hair as possible. If your hair is long it must be tied or clipped back so it cannot hang loose outside the head covering. Always put on your head covering first before other clothing because hair can fall onto your work clothes and then onto the food. Never brush or comb your hair in a food area. Do not wear protective clothing outside the food area, such as on your way to work, because you could cause contamination. .2

Essential hand hygiene
Even if you can avoid touching food by hand, you will still touch equipment, utensils and surfaces throughout the working day, so your hands must be scrupulously clean at all times. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day. Always wash your hands before:

Starting work
Touching raw food or high risk food
Between handling raw and cooked food
After handling raw food
Visiting the toilet
Handling raw eggs in their shell
Coughing or sneezing into your hands or handkerchief
Touching your hair or face
Carrying out cleaning jobs or touching containers of cleaning chemicals •Dealing with rubbish/waste and bins
Eating, drinking or smoking (in an area set aside for these activities) Never test food with your fingers or lick your finger tip to make it easier to pick up something. Do not wear nail varnish because it can chip off and flake into food. It also hides dirt that should be removed before handling food. Cuts and spots

Cover cuts, scratches and spots with a waterproof plaster to prevent the spreading of bacteria to food and to protect the wound or spot. Use waterproof plasters that are highly coloured (usually blue) so they can be seen if they come off. Some plasters contain a thin metal strip so they can be automatically identified by a metal detector on production lines. If you do lose a plaster into food tell your supervisor immediately. If you have a septic cut, weeping spot or boil, you must...
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