Handwashing: How to Not Make Yourself Sick

kitchen sink zoomPoor hand hygiene is one of the key ways that food-borne illnesses are spread. If you’ve ever gone to a group dinner were everyone makes and eats the same meal, and only one person gets food poisoning, this is usually a sign of improper handwashing.

Proper handwashing is one of the most basic tasks we learn in life, but it is often overlooked in the home kitchen. While restaurants and facilities monitor and train staff on how and when to wash their hands, home kitchens are more relaxed and often individuals only rinse their hands or wipe them on a towel.

Since “don’t forget to wash your hands” signs will likely never become part of your home décor, here are a few tips on handwashing to minimize your risk of giving yourself or a loved one a food-borne illness:

Proper Handwashing Procedure:

  • Wet your hands and arms with running water (at least 100 degrees F).
  • Apply soap.
  • Scrub hands and arms for 15-20 seconds, cleaning under fingernails and between fingers.
  • Rinse hands and arms thoroughly under running water.
  • Dry hands and arms with a single use paper towel and or a clean towel.

When prepping food or blenderized meals, hands need to be washed:

  • Before starting to work with food in the kitchen.
  • After handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • After sneezing, coughing, or using a tissue
  • After handling chemicals.
  • After taking out the garbage.
  • After clearing dirty dishes
  • After handling any contaminate equipment, surfaces, etc.
  • After touching any pets that may wander into the kitchen.

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