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Proper Handwashing Techniques Followed by Disposable Glove Usage

During this time of the year, the spread of communicable diseases compiled with the ever-present threat of cross-contamination in the foodservice industry is something worth being proactive in combating. With the labor shortage in foodservice, it’s important to protect the staff in place by providing training and ensuring compliance with simple but necessary hand hygiene practices to avoid disease outbreaks.

It should be a commonplace policy that all employees should wash their hands and wear food-grade gloves before touching any food source, as it decreases the risk of cross-contamination. Handwashing in itself is a vital step that ultimately helps prevent not only the staff but customers from getting sick. Prevention plays a crucial role in businesses, as customers are more aware of their surroundings and the actions of others around them. If a customer witnesses an employee not washing their hands after doing a certain activity such as throwing out the trash, blowing their nose, or bussing a table after service, it can damage the business’s credibility or can even lead to legal actions if a customer gets sick.

Proper handwashing techniques are simple and can be summed up in some U.S. FDA recommendations such as these.

  • Wet your hands with clean water, either with cold or warm water. Turn off the faucet to preserve water.
  • Apply soap and rub it throughout all the surfaces of your hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds, about the same time it takes to sing ‘Happy birthday’ twice. The rubbing action of soap lathering helps create pockets called micelles that trap and remove germs from hands.**
  • Rinse out all the soap in your hands with clean running water.
  • Lastly, dry your hands with a clean towel, paper towel, or a hot air dryer.
  • It is best to remove jewelry before washing your hands, as microorganisms may reside in the areas they are covering.
  • To prevent any surface germs from getting on your hands after washing them, try using a paper towel or your elbow to turn off the faucet**

These handwashing steps followed up using food-grade disposable gloves will take food safety even further. Food-grade disposable gloves come in a variety of fits and purposes. Looser-fitting disposable gloves such as Polyethylene Gloves are used for quick tasks such as handing out pastries or samples, while tighter-fitting gloves such as Vinyl and Synthetic Gloves can be used for tasks that may require more dexterity, such as cutting and slicing food.

Top-tier disposable gloves include tight-fitting gloves such as Vitrile, Latex, and Nitrile, which are perfect for precision jobs as well as cleaning and sanitation in any foodservice operation. Coupled with proper handwashing, they can help reduce the risk of cross-contamination from hand to preparation and/or eating areas. Utilize both to ensure proper protection all around!

Content courtesy of Handgards, Inc.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention