Personal Hygiene requirement for all catering staff

The Food Safety use better business book (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 requires that:
‘Every person working in a food handling area shall maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness and shall wear suitable, clean protective clothing’ where appropriate – what does this mean?

There is a requirement that all food handlers ensure that their personal habits and practices, while at work, do not expose food to a risk of contamination. The responsibility to ensure that these practices are complied with rests with British Event Catering.

Personal hygiene means that individual food handlers that work for B.E.C should ensure that they have high standards of personal cleanliness and develop clean habits to help reduce the risk of contamination. High personal standards of hygiene are essential, as there are a number of ways that the food handler can contaminate food. Food handlers are a cause of possible contamination, from the mouth, lips, nose, ears, skin, hair, hands, cuts, abrasions, sores, bowel and the gut.

What should food handlers do?

All food handlers should follow the rules on good practice while at work:

1. Cover all cuts and wounds with a waterproof dressing.
2. Keep hair clean and tied back and if necessary covered.
3. Keep hands clean.
4. Wash hands properly and frequently.
5. Wash hands: –

  • Before starting work;
  • Before handling cooked food;
  • After going to the toilet;
  • After handling rubbish and waste;
  • After any cleaning activity;
  • After blowing your nose, sneezing, coughing or touching your hair;
  • After smoking.

What should food handlers not do?

1. Smoke in a food area.
2. Wear jewellery that cannot be adequately and easily cleaned.
3. Wear pieces of jewellery, or ornate jewellery with stones, that can fall into food.
4. Wear nail varnish or false nails.
5. Bite nails.
6. Cough and sneeze over food.
7. Taste food with fingers.
8. Lick fingers when picking up wrapping materials.
9. Pick or scratch nose.
10. Blow into bags to open them.
11 Touch hair or scratch head while handling food.