Proper Hand Washing: 5 Quick Tips

5 Quick Tips: Hand Washing

We’ve all seen the signs in public restrooms: “Employees must wash hands before returning to work.” This is a good reminder, but maybe the sign should read: “How employees should properly wash hands before returning to work.”

A good rule of thumb… if you have to question if you should or should not wash your hands, you definitely should. Use these quick tips to refresh yourself and your employees on the proper hand washing techniques. Read more at Food Safety Magazine.

Hand Washing Steps

  • Rinse–Rinse hands, wrists and arms under clean, warm, running water.
  • Apply–Apply a generous amount of soap to wet hands.
  • Rub–Rub hands together for approximately 20 seconds (make sure you see bubbles!). Don’t forget to check and clean under fingernails, wrists, back of the hand, between fingers and forearms.
    TIMER TIP: hum the “Happy Birthday” song 2 times.
  • Rinse–Rinse areas under clean, warm, running water. DO NOT turn off the water yet.
  • Dry–Dry hands completely and use a paper towel to turn off the water. This prevents getting your hands dirty again.

person washing their hands5 Quick Tips BONUS:
When to Wash Your Hands

  • Before, During, and After Food Prep–Wash your hands before you prepare food, wash your hands during food prep if you are switching foods, and definitely wash your hands when you are done preparing foods. We rely so heavily on hand towels and paper towels, but we cannot forget the importance of soap, water, and bubbles to really eliminate any cross-contamination.
  • Before Eating–So many times we remind children to wash their hands before dinner, but when is the last time you stood in front of the sink and washed your hands for 20 seconds before sitting down to eat? Really think about that.
  • After Using Bathroom–Of course this is a perfect time to wash your hands! Millions of people walking around with dirty hands that could have easily been avoided if they just sang happy birthday 2 times while washing their hands.
  • After Blowing Nose, Coughing, or Sneezing–Another one of those–goes without saying ones–yet we still have to say it. We don’t want to get sick and we don’t want to get other people sick. Let’s work together to avoid this by washing our hands.
  • After Handling Garbage–You just took the garbage out the dumpster and are back at work–wash your hands! You touched the garbage, the back door, the garbage room handle/door and the dumpster itself. I’ll say it again–wash your hands!
Great Additional Resources: | When and How to Wash Your Hands
Food Safety Magazine | Proper Hand Washing: A Vital Food Safety Step

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