Handwashing is one of the most important things you can do to prevent food poisoning when preparing food for yourself or loved ones. Your hands can spread germs in the kitchen. Some of these germs, like Salmonella, can make you very sick. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is an easy way to prevent germs from spreading around your kitchen and to other foods.
Handwashing is especially important during some key times when germs can spread easily:
- Before, during, and after preparing any food.
- After handling uncooked meat, poultry, seafood, flour, or eggs.
- Before and after using gloves to prevent germs from spreading to your food and your hands.
- Before eating.
- After touching garbage.
- After wiping counters or cleaning other surfaces with chemicals.
- After touching pets, pet food, or pet treats.
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
Below are some tips on washing your hands correctly:
- Wet your hands and rub together well to build up a good lather with soap as the suds help to carry the bugs away. Do this for at least 20 seconds and don’t forget to wash between your fingers and under your nails. You might have to use a nail brush
- Rinse well under running water to remove the bugs from your hands
- Dry your hands thoroughly on a clean towel for at least 20 seconds. Touching surfaces with moist hands encourages bugs to spread from the surface to your hands.
- You can time 20 seconds by singing ‘happy birthday to you’ this is also a good way to encourage your children to wash their hands for the correct period.
Always wash and dry your hands:
- before handling, preparing and eating food
- after touching raw meat, fish, shell eggs or chicken
- after using the toilet, attending to children’s (or others) toileting and changing nappies
- after blowing your nose
- after touching a pet.
Do not touch sores, wounds and cuts when handling and preparing food.