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					Serving Food Safely in South Dakota Is Good Business
Employee Factsheet Series

Maintain Proper Hand Washing
One of the leading causes of contamination of food is improper handwashing. The best way
to keep viruses, bacteria, and other micro-organisms out of food is to wash your hands.

“Get into the hand washing habit!”
Susan, a dishwasher at the school, received a call from her mother. She washed and dried
her hands then went to the phone in the principal’s office. After the conversation, she
washed her hands and put away the clean soup bowls. The principal left early that same day
because she wasn’t feeling well.

Do It Right!
     1) Wet hands with warm running water.
      2) Lather hands with soap and scrub hands and exposed portions of arms vigorously
      for 10-15 seconds.
      3) Use a nail brush to clean under fingernails (optional)
      4) Rinse thoroughly with warm running water.
      5) Dry with a single use towel (paper towel) or hand dryer.
      6) Use the sink that is designated for handwashing only!

The South Dakota Food Service Code REQUIRES the following to prevent contamination
of food by your hands:
Wash your hands:
      1) Immediately before food preparation. Includes working with foods that are not in a
        container, single service foods and articles that are not wrapped, and clean equipment
        utensils.
      2) During food preparation as often as necessary to remove soil contamination and to prevent
        cross- contamination when changing tasks.
      3) When switching between working with raw foods and working with ready-to-eat foods.
      4) After handling dishes, utensils, or equipment that is dirty.
      5) After coughing, sneezing, using a handkerchief or disposable tissue, using tobacco, eating,
        or drinking.
      6) After using the toilet facility.
      7) After touching bare human body parts other than clean hands and clean, exposed portions
        of arms. Running your hands through your hair would be an example of this.
      8) After eating, drinking, or smoking.
      9) After caring for or handling animals.
      10) After engaging in other activities that contaminate the hands.

Source: SD Food Service Code. 1997. 44:02:07:13. General employee cleanliness. And, FDA Food Code
2005. Compiled by Joan Hegerfeld, SDSU CES Food Safety Specialist. Updated May 10, 2007
Serving Food Safely in South Dakota Is Good Business
Employee Factsheet Series

Digging Deeper—Hand Washing:

      1) Refer to the scenario “Get into the Handwashing Habit”. Susan did the right thing
        in washing her hands before and after the phone conversation because…
            a) The phone may have been handled by someone else that is sick and Susan
              could have transferred their germs to her hands, then to the soup bowls.
            b) Her hands were dirty from loading the dirty dishes into the dishwasher.
            c) She didn’t really need to wash her hands.
            d) Choices a and b.

    2) Review the following answers. Which one does NOT require you to wash your
      hands after completing the task?
           a) Using the cash register.
           b) Putting out more clean plates on the buffet line.
           c) Making an ice cream cone.
           d) Emptying the garbage.
           e) Exchanging money.
           f) Smoking a cigarette.
           g) Taking dirty dishes off the table to the dish-room.
           h) Choices b and c.
           i) Choices a and g.
           j) All of the above.

    3) You use the toilet facilities and notice it is out of paper towels. What should you do?
           a) Leave it for the janitor to take care of in the morning.
           b) Use toilet paper to dry your hands.
           c) Dry your hands on your apron
           d) Find where the paper towels are kept and replace them.

    4) How long should you rub your hands together with warm soapy water to effectively
      wash your hands for safe food handling?
           a) 20 minutes.
           b) 10-15 seconds.
           c) one minute.
           d) five minutes.

    5) A hand washing sink can be used for…
           a) soaking wiping clothes in a sanitizer.
           b) washing your coffee cup.
           c) washing your hands.
           d) all of the above.

    6) Bonus Question: Refer to question #3. The question relates specifically to hand-
      washing. However, there is an added concern with choice “c” – what is it?




Source: SD Food Service Code. 1997. 44:02:07:13. General employee cleanliness. And, FDA Food Code
2005. Compiled by Joan Hegerfeld, SDSU CES Food Safety Specialist. Updated May 10, 2007

				
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