Implement Proper Hand-Washing Procedures in Your Food Truck - dummies

Implement Proper Hand-Washing Procedures in Your Food Truck

By Richard Myrick

Hand-washing is an important task for all food service employees to ensure you’re serving safe food. Harmful bacteria or pathogens are found on almost everything you touch. People can carry them in or on their bodies, and pick them up when handling raw food or touching objects that have been previously contaminated.

After your hands are contaminated, these harmful organisms can very easily spread to the food you serve and cause illness to yourself or, even worse, your customers.

Effective hand-washing helps prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Be sure you train each of your employees to follow these simple steps:

  1. Wet your hands with warm water.

  2. Apply soap to your hands and lather vigorously for at least 20 seconds.

    Pay particular attention to fingernails, fingertips, and in between fingers.

  3. Rinse your hands with warm water.

    Water is necessary! Although some hand-care products claim to be effective without washing or rinsing with warm water, hand-washing without water doesn’t effectively remove soil, grease, and bacteria/viruses.

  4. Dry your hands with disposable towels or a blow-dryer.


All food service personnel must wash their hands at the following times:

  • Before starting work

  • After using the restroom

  • Before and after handling ice

  • Prior to and after using single-use gloves

  • While preparing food, as often as necessary to remove excess soil

  • When switching between tasks, such as preparing food and serving food

  • After handling nonfood items such as garbage bags or cleaning chemicals

  • After touching exposed parts of the body or clothes, other than clean hands

  • Between handling money and handling food, if not working solely at the register

Hand-washing regulations vary from state to state. Contact your local health department or consult your state’s food code for more information.