Personal Hygiene

Good personal hygiene of each food service worker is important to good food handling practice. Improper handwashing is known to be the number one cause of foodborne illness in Washington State.

Food service workers should wash their hands by applying soap and using warm water, scrubbing thoroughly, rinsing, and then drying using paper towels or a drying device.

Food service workers must wash:
  • Before Starting to Work
  • During Work as Necessary to Prevent Contamination of Foods
  • After Handling Unclean Items
  • After Handling Raw Meat, Poultry, or Aquatic Foods
  • After Using the Restroom (Must Wash Twice, Once in Restroom and Again in Kitchen)
  • After Eating or Smoking

Handling Ready-to-Eat Foods


Food service workers are required to use utensils to handle ready-to-eat foods. (i.e. tongs, spoons, tissues, foil, gloves). No bare hand contact of ready-to-eat foods.

Food service workers must maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness and restrain hair as necessary.