Most food service workers understand the importance of washing their hands between tasks. When moving from taking out the trash to handling food, you must wash your hands to reduce the risk of contamination and possible foodborne illnesses.
However, not all food service workers are aware of the concept of double handwashing. What is it, and why should you do it? Read on to find out.
What is Double Handwashing?
Double handwashing is the act of washing your hands twice before carrying out a task. The most common scenario for this practice is when a server or another food industry employee uses the restroom before returning to their post in the kitchen.
After using the toilet, they wash their hands in the restroom, then rewash them in the kitchen area before resuming their task of chopping vegetables or taking meals to paying customers.
Why is Double Handwashing So Important?
Even though mostly only standard handwashing is taught in food handlers courses in Texas, there is certainly value in adopting double handwashing practices. This is because it works as an extra layer of protection for your paying customers.
If you wash your hands in the bathroom, then touch door handles that people who don’t wash their hands have touched, you may not be able to get rid of all germs effectively. Cleaning your hands with warm, soapy water in the bathroom and then again once you return to your post can mean you have double the protection against germs.
Surprisingly, your efforts to double wash your hands can be praised by customers who want peace of mind that you put health and safety measures first. When a customer sees you leave the restroom, they can’t be sure that you have cleaned your hands properly. Seeing you wash them in the foodservice area can give them that much-needed confidence.
When Should You Wash Your Hands?
You should wash your hands whenever you are changing between tasks or when a certain amount of time has passed. We’ll run through the different handwashing scenarios below that could require single or double handwashing.
- When you have completed tasks like taking out the trash, using the restroom, clearing tables and handling money
- If you have been working on the same task for four hours, such as chopping vegetables. Bacteria can grow to unsafe levels in that time
- When you switch tasks, such as from chopping vegetables to slicing chicken
- When you think contamination has taken place
How to Wash Your Hands Properly
Whether you’re double or single washing your hands, it’s important to follow these steps below:
- Put your hands under warm running water
- Apply soap to your hands
- Lather the soap and wash and scrub your hands for about 20 seconds, which is about the same length of time as singing the happy birthday song twice.
- Make sure you clean between your fingers, under your nails, around your wrists, and on the tops of your hands
- Rinse your hands
- Dry your hands with an air dryer or paper towel
Find Out More By Enrolling in TABC Pronto’s Food Handling Course
The food handlers permit course in Texas offers food service workers plenty of information to help them be safer and healthier at work. Protect yourself and your customers while making yourself more desirable to hospitality industry businesses. Why not enroll today?