Hygienic handling of food is the key to cost-effective and safe food handling practices. It can go a long way in preventing deadly foodborne illnesses which the young, the elderly, and anyone with a weak immune system are susceptible to. To prevent illnesses, employees in food establishments should be trained to maintain a high level of awareness on how to handle or process edible products.
This is important since workers can carry dangerous pathogens on their skin and hair. To prevent product contamination, they should be trained to understand basic food protection practices and maintain good hygiene standards.
Here are some ways employers can increase food safety awareness among workers in a food-based facility:
- Strict rules should be established for personal hygiene in the workplace. For instance, workers should not be allowed to handle food products till they wash their hands correctly. The best way to do this is to rinse hands with water, scrub them with soap for 20 seconds, rinse with clean water and dry with a clean towel or dryer. This is the best way to prevent bacteria from transferring to food and the process should be repeated before and after handling food, using the bathroom, disposing garbage etc.
- There should be standard clothing available for workers at every food establishment. For instance, workers should wear different colored smocks if they pass a part of the food facility that processes raw meat and enter an area that processes cooked food. In addition, they should be asked to step into a sanitized footbath before entering the areas. The solution will prevent bacteria from their shoes from contaminating the work areas.
- Sick employees and workers who have been exposed to contagious diseases such as flu should not be allowed to enter areas where food is processed. Employees who suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, fever, dizziness, sore throat or a fever should not be allowed to handle food or work in the facility.
- A company policy should be maintained that requires workers to report any case of illness to management before work starts. In case a worker has a food borne illness (such as salmonella, E. coli or Hepatitis A), he/she should be told to leave the facility and get medical aid from the established health department. The health department should be notified beforehand.
Texas Food Handler + TABC Certification Package
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