Personal hygiene

Good personal hygiene is essential to ensure that:

  • food is not contaminated with food-poisoning bacteria or other matter, such as:
    • foreign objects
    • chemicals
  • hands and other parts of the body do not transfer food-poisoning bacteria to food

Personal hygiene practices include:

  • hand washing — always wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water:
    • before handling food
    • after any other activity that may carry bacteria to food
      • visiting the toilet
      • coughing or sneezing
      • handling garbage
      • touching hair or other body parts
  • personal cleanliness — when handling food:
    • tie long hair back or cover it with a cap or other approved headwear
    • wear limited jewellery
    • wear clean protective clothing over normal clothing
    • store personal items and spare clothes away from any areas involving food handling
  • personal behaviour and habits — do not:
    • smoke
    • chew gum
    • undertake any other unhygienic practice in food handling areas
  • illness — individuals suffering from diseases that can be transmitted through food must not handle food
  • injuries — all wounds or cuts on hands or arms are to be completely covered with brightly coloured wound strip or bandage:
    • both the wound strip and gloves must be changed at least hourly or sooner if there is a change in tasks
    • if the wound is on the hands, disposable gloves must be worn over the top of the wound strip

For more information visit Food — how to keep it safeExternal Link at health.vic

Guidance chapter on personal hygiene practices when handling food

Reviewed 29 May 2020

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