Violation #2 Personnel

A. Employee Health: Personnel with Infections Restricted

Sick food workers suffering from an illness that can be transmitted through food must be restricted from handling food and clean equipment and utensils. Workers with gastrointestinal illnesses, such as diarrhea, fever, vomiting, or with bad colds accompanied by heavy nasal discharge, persistent coughing, or sneezing, can transmit the disease-causing agent they have into the foods they are handling and on to individuals that consume the food product.

B. Employee Health: Wounds Properly Covered

Cuts or burns on a food worker’s hands are a direct threat for introducing disease-causing bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, into food. A water-tight barrier is required to cover cuts and burns on workers’ hands and wrists. Cuts or burns on the arms are less of a concern when usual food preparation practices are employed; therefore, no barrier is required.

However, if the food preparation practices involve contact of the exposed portions of the arms with food, a barrier equivalent to that required for the hands and wrist is necessary. Bandages worn over cuts and burns are not considered adequate covers. Bandages must be covered with a water-tight barrier to prevent leakage from the cut or burn through the bandage into the food.

C. Employee Health: Hands Washed, as Needed

The hands are particularly important in terms of transmitting foodborne disease-causing organisms. Food employees with dirty hands and/or fingernails may contaminate the food being prepared. Therefore, any activity which may contaminate the hands must be followed by thorough hand washing. Even seemingly healthy employees may serve as reservoirs for disease-causing microorganisms that are transmissible through food. Staphylococci bacteria, for example, can be found on the skin and in the mouth, throat, and nose of many healthy employees. The hands of employees can be contaminated by touching the nose, mouth, hair, or other body parts.

Hands must be washed after:
  • Using the restroom
  • Handling raw meats, poultry, and fish
  • Smoking, eating, or drinking
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Touching head, hair, mouth, cuts, burns, or other sores
  • Handling dirty dishes, utensils, and equipment
  • Handling money

D. Hygienic Practices

Good hygienic practices must be followed by all food workers to prevent the introduction of contaminants into food and to prevent the possibility of transmission of disease through food. Workers must wash their hands after touching their hair, face, nose, or other body parts. Fingernails must be kept trimmed and clean. Hands must be free of an excess number of rings where disease-causing bacteria can collect and contaminate food. Food workers must not use common towels or aprons to wipe or dry their hands. Towels used over and over again become contaminated, and each time workers wipe their hands on a common towel, their hands also become contaminated.

E. Hygienic Practices: Smoking, Eating, Drinking

The use of tobacco products or eating or drinking during food preparation is prohibited. The hand-to-mouth contact that occurs during these activities results in the contamination of workers’ hands and food.

F. Demonstration of Knowledge: Training Needed

Food workers must have a basic understanding of food safety as it relates to the job or task they are doing. Dishwashers must know how the dish machine they operate sanitizes and when they should be washing their hands. Cooks that reheat foods must know the temperature requirements for reheating. Employees who are required to cool foods must know what the temperature requirements are for cooling. The more knowledgeable the food handler is, the safer the food-handling practices in the establishment will be.

G. No Bare-hand Contact

Food must be prepared with minimal manual contact by using suitable utensils or single-use gloves. Employees should not touch ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands.


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