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Maintaining Food Safety with Hand Hygiene (Part 2)

10/11/2014

Hand Hygiene (Part 2) | Initial

In part one of Maintaining Food Safety with Hand Hygiene, we explored how poor hand hygiene can negatively impact food safety. ​Here, in Part 2, ​we will be sharing with you the importance of good hand hygiene and how it can drastically minimise the risk of food borne illnesses.

Transmission of bad bacteria or germs can happen in any part of the food supply chain stages, especially at stages with poor hygiene and sanitation. With food being produced and processed at a high volume, there is a great risk of spreading harmful viruses to a mass number of people. The Straits Times Singapore has recently reported about the death of a four-year old boy, who passed away due to Salmonellosis after consuming contaminated food bought from a food court. In order to avoid such regrettable incident, food handlers have to be more diligent and take their hygiene practices seriously.

Hand washing has quickly become an integral part in preventing food contamination as most of the microbial outbreaks are attributable to poor hygiene practices and improper food handling. By washing hands thoroughly with water and soap, it can help to physically remove any harmful particles and germs. Besides that, proper hand washing techniques can effectively remove germs and bad bacteria such as E.coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and other viruses that may be present on our hands.

Good hand washing techniques:
• Wet your hands with clean water - warm, if available - and apply hand soap
• Lather by rubbing hands together; be sure to cover all surfaces
• Continue rubbing hands together for 15 to 20 seconds
• Thoroughly rinse hands under running water to ensure removal of residual germs
• Turn off the faucet with a paper towel
• Dry hands with paper towel or hand dryer

Source: Food Institute of Malaysia, World Health Organisation (WHO)

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