Hand Washing Procedures

Poor personal hygiene of workers causes 25 to 40 percent of all foodborne related illness in this country. Proper attention to good personal hygiene is essential to decrease foodborne disease.
Use the double hand wash method to reduce disease-causing (pathogenic) organisms on hands. The steps include:

  1. Wet hands under hot, flowing water (100° F to 120° F, 2 gallons per minute).
  2. Apply sufficient soap to develop a good lather. (Refrain from using antibacterial soaps.)
  3. Use a fingernail brush to eliminate dirt on fingertips and under fingernails.
  4. Rinse hands and brush in hot (100° F to 120° F), flowing (more than 2 gallons per minute) water.
  5. To ensure removal of pathogens, wash hands again without using the fingernail brush. Wash arms as far up as will make contact with food.
  6. Rinse hands and arms again in hot, flowing water.
  7. Dry hands and arms with disposable paper towels.

Prepared by: Sue Snider, Ph.D.

Professor/Food Safety and Nutrition Specialist


Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin.

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