November 19, 2023

Where Should a Food Worker Wash Her Hands?

A food worker should wash her hands in a toilet sink to maintain disinfected conditions and prevent contamination of the foods she prepares. Food workers should also wash their hands frequently to minimize the risk of contaminating food and causing foodborne illness.

A toilet sink is the best place to wash a food worker’s hands because it is a handwashing sink that is designed to be used for handwashing, unlike a utility sink, service sink, or pan-washing sink.

Whether preparing food or cleaning dishes, a food handler should wash her hands frequently and thoroughly to minimize the risk of contaminating the foods she prepares and causing foodborne illness. A recent observational study found that food handlers failed to wash their hands correctly 97 percent of the time.

Handwashing is a simple task, but it requires proper execution to be effective. A food establishment must provide areas for handwashing, and the sinks must be equipped with clean running water of a temperature acceptable to the skin (typically 100°F to 110°F), soap, disposable towels or air dryer, and a sign that reminds employees to wash their hands.

When washing your hands, you should wet your hands first, apply a generous amount of soap, and rub all surfaces of your hands and fingers together vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Be sure to scrub under your fingernails, between your fingers, and around your wrists. Rinse your hands well, and dry them completely with a disposable towel or air dryer.


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