Food handlers' personal hygiene Maintaining good personal hygiene is essential to avoiding food poisoning. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently while handling food. If you're sick, don't go to work because you're more likely to contaminate food. Food handlers should receive proper food handling training. Food poisoning can be avoided with good personal hygiene. Food poisoning bacteria can be found on anyone - including healthy people. If you touch your nose, mouth, hair, or clothes, and then food, you can spread bacteria from yourself to the meal. It's also good business sense to maintain good personal hygiene. Customers appreciate seeing food-handling employees that are concerned about hygiene and practice safe food handling. Consider how your coworkers handle food from the perspective of a customer. Would you prefer to eat or buy food from your workplace? Personal hygiene advice for food handlers Follow these guidelines to avoid food poisoning through proper personal hygiene: Before handling food, thoroughly wash and dry your hands, and wash and dry them again periodically throughout the day. dry your hands with a clean towel, disposable paper towel or under an air dryer never smoke, chew gum, spit, change a baby’s nappy or eat in a food handling or food storage area never cough or sneeze over food, or where food is being prepared or stored wear clean protective clothing, such as an apron keep your spare clothes and other personal items (including mobile phones) away from where food is stored and prepared tie back or cover long hair keep fingernails short so they are easy to clean, and don’t wear nail polish because it can chip into the food Wear only plain-banded rings and sleeper earrings if you want to wear jewelry. Use a wound strip or bandage to completely cover all cuts and wounds (brightly coloured waterproof bandages are recommended) If you have wounds on your hands, wear disposable gloves over the top of the wound strip. Replace disposable gloves on a regular basis. Tell your supervisor if you're sick, and don't eat anything.