personal hygiene tips for food handlers

Food handling is an extremely important task and deserves all the care and attention. It ensures that food does not cause disease to the consumer, when prepared or consumed according to the intended use.

There are criteria to be followed to avoid contamination of these foods. Starting with a good wash, the identification of damaged products and of course, the use of clothing and safety materials. All of these aspects are aimed at sanitizing the food and ensuring that the handler does not come into contact with the handled food.

It is important to remember that when we talk about food handlers, we are including everyone who works cleaning, storing and preparing them.

  • Rules to be followed by the handler

Do not work sick: It is not indicated that the food handler works with any type of disease, especially in the case of those transmitted by viruses, such as: flu, cold, diarrhea and fever. Viruses can easily be allocated to food, especially if the handler is not wearing the ideal clothing.

Nails intact: Nails are also important, that is: if you work in professional kitchens, always try to have your nails cut, clean and without enamel. Cooking with rings is also not a good idea, as they can hide bacteria.

Always clean hands and arms: Always wash hands and forearms with soap and running water before starting work, and after using the toilets.

Do not mix food: During the preparation phase, separate animal foods with plant foods in order to avoid cross-contamination.

Respect the expiration dates: This is a basic rule. The expiration date is what guarantees the origin of the food, if it is beyond the certified period, discard it. Thus, you will have no problems with health surveillance.

  • Protective clothing

Apron: The aprons must be made of fabric, to be used when the activity performed does not involve the use of water, or rubber, to be used when working with water.

They prevent external agents from coming into contact with the food and also protect the handler from possible contamination by food.

Cap: Disposable caps are also part of clothing for handling food. They prevent hair from falling into any food, as this can become a very unpleasant experience for the end consumer.

Gloves: The most recommended in this area are vinyl or latex gloves , used in less risky activities. They are very resistant and constantly used in the handling of meat in refrigerators. The gloves prevent direct contact of the hand with the food, protecting both parts from contamination.

  • Foodborne diseases

Taking the precautions mentioned above, the occurrence of diseases caused by food significantly reduces. This frees the consumer from contaminated food (DTA) and biological hazards (bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi). For example: salmonellosis, hepatitis A, giardiasis, gastroenteritis, etc.

Foodborne illnesses occur due to poor hygiene, the crossing between raw and cooked food, the use of contaminated food and the prolonged exposure of food to room temperature.

Food handling is a serious matter and deserves to be taken with care and responsibility. If in doubt, leave a comment.

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