ComplianceMate Blog

Food Safety Minute: Hand Washing

Handwashing is our number one defense. So, how do we do that? Real simple … the FDA Food Code says five steps.














Kevin Scott, with ComplianceMate coming at you with your Food Safety Minute! So, [what] we’ll be talking about today—the most important thing in the world—is handwashing. Handwashing is our number one defense. So, how do we do that?

Food Safety Minute smallReal simple … the FDA Food Code says five steps.

  • First: Wet the hands up the arms a little bit with the hottest water that you can stand. It should be warm, but don’t make it scalding. Please don’t burn yourself.
  • Second: Use a good soap. So, it can be anti-bacterial, but guess what? You only need to use soap; it doesn’t have to be anti-bacterial.
  • Third: You want to scrub. FDA Food Code says 10-15 seconds, [but] guidance [and] information from the CDC now says it’s 20 seconds.  So, 20 seconds between the fingers, fingernails, focusing on those little cracks and crevices where the pathogens love to hide.
  • Fourth:  Rinse your hands and arms with that same running water as hot as you can take it (please don’t burn yourself).
  • Fifth, Dry your hands with one of the two methods approved for doing so: a single-use paper towel or an approved hot or cold Air Hand Dryer. Okay?

That’s it. If you want to use an anti-bacterial sanitizer afterward, that’s okay, too. Just remember [to] let that dry completely before getting back to work with food, because, if we don’t, we will have created a chemical hazard.

Now, that’s it for handwashing! [It’s] the number one defense! If we do that, we’ll go a long way to reducing all pathogens, including COVID-19. Stay safe, be well, and we will see you again soon!

For ComplianceMate, I’m Kevin Scott.

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