Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Today, we are going to talk about the importance of hand washing. As a culinary instructor, and health educator for the past ten years, I cannot underestimate the importance of hand washing and proper hygiene practices. This does not just apply to the kitchen, but rather everyday life.
It is not the threats that we can see that put our health in danger, but rather the ones we do not! There are a variety of pathogens that can infiltrate our kitchens and our lives. From Salmonella, norovirus, and botulism to the common cold, flu, and now coronavirus, the pathogens we do not see can affect the quality of our health, lives, and productivity.
Washing your hands is the first step to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Watch a demonstration here.
Hand Washing Steps
1) Use warm water to moisturize your hands.
2) Apply soap.
3) Scrub vigorously, including between the fingers, under fingertips, and up the wrists. Be sure any non-essential jewelry is removed (a great place for germs to gather).
4) Rinse with warm water.
5) Dry using a single use paper towel. Use the towel to turn off the sink.
6) The whole process should take 20-30 seconds. Sink the birthday song, or a simple nursery rhyme if you cannot measure the time.
In a kitchen I can wash my hands roughly 30-50 times per day. Any time you encounter a suspected contaminated surface, touch your face, or any potentially harmful raw foods, wash your hands.
Here are some other helpful hygiene tips for the kitchen:
1) Keep hair tied back or away from food.
2) Clean and sanitize all cooking equipment and surfaces properly.
3) Remove jewelry (rings, bracelets, watches) while cooking.
4) Wash hands after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.
5) Cook foods thoroughly, use guidelines for proper temperatures.
6) Do not mix raw foods with ready-to-eat foods.
7) Keep oneself aware of potential hazards at all times.