Personal Hygiene and safety
• Always wash your hands using soap provided when entering or re-entering the
food production area, before and after handling food, after using the toilet,
smoking or blowing your nose. Bacteria from hands when transferred to food
can cause illness. Remember to dry your hands thoroughly afterwards.
NB: Hertfordshire County Council has a ‘no smoking’ policy. Staff must follow
• Avoid touching your nose or lips or scratching your head whilst handling food.
Again, bacteria from hands when transferred to food can cause illness.
• Do not come to work, and immediately notify your line manager if you suspect
you or a member of your family may be a carrier, or are suffering from any illness
which may be transmitted through food, for example:
• infected wounds
• skin infections
• seek advice from your doctor and tell him/her you are a prime food handler.
• Your manager will advise you about when you can return to work (usually 48
hours after symptoms cease). There may be a requirement in some cases for a
doctor’s certificate to return to work following 2 clear stool samples in cases of
suspected food poisoning or 48 hour rule with interview/questionnaire. All staff
are required to complete with their line manager a ‘self certification, sickness
absence and return to work meeting form’.
• Return to work forms must be filled out after return from holidays abroad.
• Avoid coughing or sneezing over food. Bacteria will be transmitted to food.
• Food handlers must wear a hat with a net and keep their hair neat and tidy, long
hair must be tied back and enclosed in a net. It is essential to prevent
hair/bacteria falling into food products
Hertfordshire Catering –Food Safety Management System Version 1 October 2008 30
• Keep fingernails short and clean – bacteria harbours beneath long fingernails.
Nail varnish/gel or nail extensions must NOT be worn. Nails should not protrude
over the top of fingers when hand held up, open and facing someone.
• Do not wear jewellery (except a plain wedding ring or band). Jewellery harbours
bacteria within the crevices and stones can fall into food products. Up until now a
single pair of stud or small sleeper earring (no stones) have be allowed to be
worn but from the 1st January 2009 all earrings will be prohibited. No facial
piercing is allowed, any facial piercing should be removed before commencing
• Do not smoke whilst handling food – it is against the law, as bacteria can be
passed on through contact with lips, mouth and nose. Food, including sweets
and chewing gum, must not be consumed while preparing food. Make sure that
you wash your hands before returning to work after any break.
• Do not spit in food areas. Mucus harbours bacteria.
• Do not wear excess make up or strong perfumes as strong perfumes may taint
• Keep all wounds covered with blue detectable waterproof dressings. Remember
wounds and cuts, grazes and boils can become easily infected with germs.
Uncovered cotton bandages are forbidden.
• It is important to remember before starting work, to wash your hands. Wet hands
using hot running water, apply liquid soap and wash thoroughly, rinse and dry
your hands using disposable paper towels.
• Remember to bath or shower daily to keep yourself clean and fresh.
• Remember to wash your hands after handling raw food products, after emptying
refuse and any time when your hands may have become contaminated.
• It is important that all staff complete a medical form before they commence
employment and immediately after returning from holidays abroad.
• All staff must wear the protective clothing provided. This must be kept clean,
ironed and in good condition. These garments must not be used to travel to and
from your place of work.
• No opened toed shoes should be worn and shoes should be tight fitting with slip
• No tights should be worn, short socks are permissable.
Personal Hygiene and safety