Fact Sheet Table of Contents

Why wash your hands?

A major cause of foodborne illness is the lack of proper handwashing.

Soiled hands will contaminate food. The germs that cause illness are too small to see. Your hands may look clean, however, there could be millions of bacteria and other germs on them. For this reason, you need to wash your hands frequently.

What to do?

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Wet your hands with warm water. Apply soap and wash your hands for 20 seconds. Rinse, then dry with a single-use paper towel. Use the paper towel to shut off the water.
When to wash your hands?

  • Before handling, preparing food or serving food.
  • Before handling clean utensils or dishware.
  • After using the restroom.
  • After touching your face, cuts or sores.
  • After smoking/eating/drinking.
  • After handling raw meat - especially poultry.
  • After touching unclean equipment, working surfaces, soiled clothing, soiled wiping cloths, etc.
  • After collecting and taking out the garbage.