Document Detail

Hand washing frequencies and procedures used in retail food services.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18724759     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Transmission of viruses, bacteria, and parasites to food by way of improperly washed hands is a major contributing factor in the spread of foodborne illnesses. Field observers have assessed compliance with hand washing regulations, yet few studies have included consideration of frequency and methods used by sectors of the food service industry or have included benchmarks for hand washing. Five 3-h observation periods of employee (n = 80) hand washing behaviors during menu production, service, and cleaning were conducted in 16 food service operations for a total of 240 h of direct observation. Four operations from each of four sectors of the retail food service industry participated in the study: assisted living for the elderly, childcare, restaurants, and schools. A validated observation form, based on 2005 Food Code guidelines, was used by two trained researchers. Researchers noted when hands should have been washed, when hands were washed, and how hands were washed. Overall compliance with Food Code recommendations for frequency during production, service, and cleaning phases ranged from 5% in restaurants to 33% in assisted living facilities. Procedural compliance rates also were low. Proposed benchmarks for the number of times hand washing should occur by each employee for each sector of food service during each phase of operation are seven times per hour for assisted living, nine times per hour for childcare, 29 times per hour for restaurants, and 11 times per hour for schools. These benchmarks are high, especially for restaurant employees. Implementation would mean lost productivity and potential for dermatitis; thus, active managerial control over work assignments is needed. These benchmarks can be used for training and to guide employee hand washing behaviors.
Catherine Strohbehn; Jeannie Sneed; Paola Paez; Janell Meyer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of food protection     Volume:  71     ISSN:  0362-028X     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Food Prot.     Publication Date:  2008 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-08-26     Completed Date:  2008-10-20     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703944     Medline TA:  J Food Prot     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1641-50     Citation Subset:  IM    
Hotel, Restaurant and institution Management Program, 31 MacKay Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011-1121, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Child Day Care Centers
Commerce / standards
Food Contamination / analysis,  prevention & control*
Food Services / standards*
Foodborne Diseases / epidemiology,  prevention & control*
Handwashing* / methods,  standards
Homes for the Aged
Nursing Homes
Time Factors
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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