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Hand washing – Are you doing it right?

Hand washing – Are you doing it right?

One of the single-most important food safety steps you can take when preparing food is hand washing to remove germs.  Have you ever wondered if you are doing it right?  Read on below for some science-based tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

5 Simple Steps

  1. Wet your hands
  2. Lather with soap
  3. Scrub all over your hands, between fingers, under fingernails
  4. Rinse off soap
  5. Dry with a towel

How long should it take?
To complete the steps above effectively it should take you about twenty seconds, or the amount of time that it would take you to sing the “Happy Birthday” song two times through.

Hot or Cold Water?
New science shows that either temperature of water will work to clean your hands, but warm water may make it more comfortable to spend at least twenty seconds washing up.

What about Hand Sanitizer?
Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer works too. But soap and water are better.

When to wash your hands?
Use common sense, but here are several instances when our friends at FightBac recommend that you wash your hands:

  • Before handling food
  • After handling food
  • After using the bathroom
  • After changing diapers
  • After handling pets

What about drying? Paper or cloth?
Drying is an important part of handwashing. The friction of drying can reduce any pathogens on your hands. A cloth towel is fine for drying most of the time; but if you handled something known to likely have pathogens, like raw meat, you might opt for a disposable paper towel.