Public Health Reason #02
Employee Health: Personnel with infections
Sick food workers suffering from an illness that can be transmitted
through food must be restricted from handling food, clean equipment and
utensils. Workers with gastrointestinal illnesses such as diarrhea, fever,
vomiting, or with bad colds accompanied by heavy nasal discharge,
persistent coughing or sneezing can transmit the disease-causing agent
they have into the foods they are handling and on to the individuals that
consume the food product.
Employee Health: Wounds properly covered.
Cuts or burns on a food workers hands are a direct threat for
introducing disease-causing bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus into
food. A water-tight barrier is required to cover cuts and burns on
worker's hands and wrists. Cuts or burns on the arms are less of a concern
when usual food preparation practices are employed, therefore, no barrier
However, if the food preparation practices involve contact of
the exposed portions of the arms with food, a barrier equivalent to that
required for the hands and wrist would be necessary. Bandages worn over
cuts and burns are not considered adequate covers. Bandages must be
covered with a water tight barrier to prevent leakage from the cut or burn
through the bandage into the food.
Employee Health: Hands washed as needed.
The hands are particularly important in transmitting food borne
disease-causing organisms. Food employees with dirty hands and/or
fingernails may contaminate the food being prepared. Therefore, any
activity which may contaminate the hands must be followed by thorough
hand washing. Even seemingly healthy employees may serve as reservoirs for
disease-causing microorganisms that are transmissible through food.
Staphylococci bacteria, for example, can be found on the skin and in the
mouth, throat, and nose of many healthy employees. The hands of employees
can be contaminated by touching their nose, mouth, hair or other body
Hands must be washed after:
(a) Using the restroom
(b) Handling raw meats, poultry and fish
(c) Smoking, eating, or drinking
(d) Coughing or sneezing
(e) Touching head, hair, mouth, cuts, burns or
(f) Handling dirty dishes, utensils and equipment
(g) Handling money.
Hygienic Practices: Hygienic practices.
Good hygienic practices must be followed by all food workers to
prevent the introduction of contaminants into food and to prevent the
possibility of transmission of disease through food. Workers must wash
their hands after touching their hair, face, nose or other body parts.
Finger nails must be kept trimmed and clean. Hands must be free of a
excess number of rings where disease-causing bacteria can collect and
contaminate food. Food workers must not use common towels or aprons to
wipe or dry their hands. Towels used over and over again become
contaminated and each time a worker wipes his/her hands on a common towel
their hands also become contaminated.
Hygienic Practices: Smoking, eating, drinking.
The use of tobacco products or eating or drinking during food
preparation is prohibited. The hand to mouth contact that occurs during
these activities results in the contamination of workers hands and food.
Demonstration of Knowledge: Training Needed.
Food workers must have a basic understanding of food safety as it
relates to the job or task they are doing. Dishwashers must know how the dish machine they operate sanitizes and when they should be washing their
hands. Cooks that reheat foods must know the temperature requirements for
reheating. Employees who are required to cool foods must know what the
temperature requirements are for cooling. The more knowledgeable the food
handler is, the safer the food handling practices in the establishment
Food shall be prepared with minimal manual contact by
using suitable utensils or single-use gloves. Employees shall not
contact ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands.