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Handwashing Key to Preventing your Restaurant Patrons From Getting Sick

Washing Hands in Sink

One in six Americans get sick every year from foodborne illnesses. As a restaurant operator, preventing sickness is essential – it just may not be easy to do. After all, there are many factors seemingly out of your control when it comes to your business operations. However, there are some things you can control.

Handwashing Infographic

For example, restaurant workers who don’t thoroughly wash their hands can easily transmit foodborne illnesses. And even though it doesn’t take long to wash hands, restaurants are fast-paced environments – it can be easy to cut corners when hot food needs to be run out to customers or meals need to be prepared quickly.

At Orkin, our primary job is pest control, but we know that everything is really about food safety. We’re here to help you understand common food safety mistakes and the ins and outs of your health inspection.

We recommend that you repeatedly review best handwashing practices with your staff, put up signs and reminders about handwashing and emphasize cleanliness in staff meetings on a regular basis. Teach the following routine for handwashing:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. (Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.)

  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

For more ways to encourage your staff to improve food safety, watch our 5 Common Food Safety Mistakes video and download the resource. Also, download our free Health Inspection Guide to step up your game before the health inspector arrives.


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