Food Handlers

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3 types of food hazards

physical, chemical, an dbiological

Physical Hazards

hair, dirt, fingernails or pieces of glass or plastic or cherry pits or fish bones

Preventing physical hazards

Hair nets, hats, light covers, thorough cleaning when broken glass etc.

chemical hazards

pesticides, cleaning supplies, and toxic metals that come from using improper cookware. and they are more dangerous because you usually cannot see them

prevent chemical

properly labeling all chemicals and storing them separately from food

biological hazards

bacteria, virus, fungi, parasites, poisons,

prevent biological

Moldy food and bulging cans need to be thrown away

food borne illness

caused by biological hazards


stomach cramping, diarrhea, fever, headache, vomiting, and severe exhaustion


usually last only a day or two, but in some cases they continue for a week or more, and may even have serious long-term consequences such as blurred vision, paralysis, and even death.

high risk

children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons who are hospitalized


need food, moisture, and warm temp


sprread by an infected person, could spread illness before knowing they are sick

the big 5

The first three are strains of bacteria: Shigella, E. coli, and Salmonella. The last two are viruses: Hepatitis A and Norovirus.


potent bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea, painful stomach cramping, and vomiting. can cause shigellosis.

e. coli

bacteria can cause bloody diarrhea, severe dehydration, and even death. found naturally in the digestive systems of many animals, including cattle


infection, or salmonellosis, is the most common bacterial food-borne illness in the United States. naturally found in animals usually poultry

hepatitis a

affecting the liver. Initial symptoms appear 2 to 6 weeks after exposure to the virus, and may include muscle aches, headache, and fever. yellowing eyes and skin – jaundice


stomach flu. Gastroenteritis is an inflammation, or painful swelling, of the stomach and intestines, and is often caused by norovirus. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, accompanied by abdominal cramps. Infected persons may also experience headache, fever, chills, or muscle aches. Symptoms usually last for just a day or two; however, during that brief period, people usually feel very ill and vomit many times a day.


Any wound should always be covered with a bandage. When preparing food, injuries on the hands should be bandaged, covered by a finger cot (if the cut is on a finger), and covered by single-use, disposable gloves. If you cut or burn yourself while on the job, stop what you are doing immediately and treat and bandage your injury. Never prepare or serve food with a wound that is not properly treated and covered.

report any illness

if feeling ill you must tell your manager for the safety of the employees and customers

potentially hazerdous foods

Meat and meat products, such as chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and fish; all shellfish, including shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, and oysters; dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese; protein-rich foods such as cooked bean and rice dishes, tofu, and shell eggs; melons and tomatoes that have already been cut; cooked vegetables; any food product containing creams or custards; potato dishes; raw sprouts; and minced garlic in oil

hand washing

First, wet your hands with running water that is hot but not uncomfortably so. Then, apply soap to your wet hands. Scrub your hands, wrists, and lower arms vigorously for at least 10 to 15 seconds. Pay particular attention to the areas underneath your fingernails—these are common hiding places for dirt and germs. Once you are done scrubbing, rinse your hands thoroughly under running water, and finally, dry your hands and arms with a warm-air dryer or a disposable paper towel—not a reusable cloth. The entire hand washing process should take at least 20 seconds

double washing

In certain situations, the law requires that you wash your hands twice. This is called "double hand washing." After working with raw meats, double-wash your hands, repeating steps 2 through 4, prior to drying your hands. After using the restroom or changing a diaper, you should wash your hands, following all five steps, once in the restroom sink and then again in the kitchen’s designated hand-washing area. By law, and to ensure proper hand washing occurs, restrooms and other hand-washing areas must contain both hot and cold running water, hand soap, a wastebasket, and sanitary towels or a working air dryer.

when and where wash hands

You should always wash your hands regularly throughout the day, but much more often when working with food. Always wash your hands before starting work and before putting on clean gloves. You should obviously wash your hands before and after handling raw foods, and after using the restroom. Also wash your hands after sneezing or coughing, and after eating, drinking, smoking, or using tobacco. Wash up after you handle chemicals that might affect the safety of food and after you take out the trash. In addition, you should wash your hands after touching your hair, face, or any part of your body other than recently cleaned hands and arms, including your clothing or apron, and after touching any unsanitized object, such as equipment or washcloths. Avoid touching animals in food service areas, including service animals and guide dogs. If you do happen to touch an animal, or an object associated with an animal, like a dog dish or fish tank, wash your hands. In general, you should follow the five hand washing steps after any activity that might contaminate your hands or expose them to germs.

wear gloves

gloves are used to protect hands from detergents and chemicals, and to help keep food safe from germs that employees may have on their hands. Always wash your hands before putting on gloves and when changing to a fresh pair.

change gloves

You need to change your gloves before handling cooked or ready-to-eat food, as soon as they become dirty or torn, after handling raw meat, and at least every four hours during continual use. Four hours is the limit because that is long enough for illness-causing bacteria to multiply and reach dangerous levels. To safely remove a glove, grab the cuff and pull it inside out over your fingers, making sure to avoid contact with your palm and fingers. Wash your hands and put on a fresh pair.

no bare contact

This is important with all food, but particularly critical when handling ready-to-eat food. Ready-to-eat food will be eaten without additional washing or cooking. This includes raw fruits and vegetables, cheeses, processed meats, breads, products that have been fully cooked, and so forth.


Always use tongs, deli tissue, or other appropriate utensils when serving ready-to-eat items. Never grab, move, or serve food with your bare hands. When filling a glass with ice, use an ice scoop, not your hands or the glass itself. When you carry a plate, never let any of your fingers, especially the thumb, touch the top of the plate. Hold the plate in the palm of your hand with all fingers tucked below, or just touching the very side of the rim where food will not touch. Always carry eating utensils, including knives, forks, and spoons, by the handle. Do not use your bare hands to touch any part of any item that diners might reasonably put in their mouths. Similarly, when carrying a glass, carry it by the base, or handle if it has one. Never carry a glass by placing a hand or palm over the opening or by grasping the rim of the glass with your fingers.


Shower or bathe daily. Wear clean clothes. Keep your fingernails trimmed and filed, so the nails are short and clean and the edges are smooth. Germs can get caught underneath long, unkempt fingernails. You should avoid wearing fingernail polish or artificial fingernails when working with exposed food. If you are preparing food, you may not wear any jewelry except for a plain ring such as a wedding band. Watches and bracelets provide a harbor for germs, and may cause contamination; rings with stones are likely to tear gloves, also creating potential for contamination; and items such as earrings or necklaces can fall into food, creating a physical hazard. Cooks and kitchen workers should also keep their hair covered or pulled back so it does not fall into food or onto food preparation surfaces. Hair nets or hats designed to contain hair are the best ways to keep this from happening

behiaviors to aviod

Food handlers should never eat, drink, or chew gum while working with food. When you do these things, tiny droplets of saliva are always shooting out of your mouth. These droplets can contaminate food and spread disease. If you must eat during your shift, do so during the breaks allotted you by your employer, not while working with food. You may be able to drink from a covered cup with a straw, but you should check with your manager first. Smoking while cooking is hazardous to food in many ways. Pieces of cigarettes and ash could fall into food, and second-hand-smoke could cause harm to your co-workers or customers. When you smoke, your hand spends a lot of time close to your mouth and lips, which can lead to contamination via saliva. If you must smoke, do so outdoors, away from any open doors and windows. In fact, because of the Utah Clean Air Act, smoking anywhere in or near an enclosed public place is prohibited. If you do smoke outside, you must be at least 25 feet away from any entrance to your establishment. Your employer may require that you use allotted breaks for smoking. When you finish smoking, always wash your hands thoroughly before returning to work. (Image 3) Picking your nose is rarely appropriate, especially in public. However, it is especially inappropriate to do while working with food. You carry potentially harmful germs on your body, including on and in your nose, mouth, ears, and hair. You may have a habit of rubbing your eyes, running your hands through your hair, or scratching your scalp. If so, you must break that habit. Touching any part of your body, other than recently-washed hands, while working with food can make people sick. (Image 4) Sneezing and coughing are two of the most common ways to transmit disease. If you have to sneeze or cough, leave the food prep area if possible. If not, turn away from any food, especially food that is ready to be served. Contain the germs by sneezing into the crook of your elbow, rather than your hands. Even if you sneeze into your elbow, you should wash your hands before returning to your food preparation tasks.

clean and sanitize

Cleaning involves removing food, dirt, and other particles from the surface of something, such as a dish or countertop. When you wash a pan with soap and water, you are cleaning it. Sanitizing, on the other hand, involves reducing the number of germs to a safe level. If you want to sanitize the pan, you will need to submerge it, or dip it entirely, in a sanitizing solution. To maintain a safe food environment, both cleaning and sanitizing are required.

4 step sanitize and cleaning process

First, wipe or scrape off any large food particles. Second, clean the surface with a detergent and then rinse with clean water. Third, apply a sanitizing solution. We’ll talk more about this soon. Fourth, allow the surface to air-dry. Do not use towels to dry sanitized items. Keep cloths used for cleaning and those used for sanitizing separated, and store them in their own solution.


iodine, chlorine, and quat ammonium.. mixded w/ water. too much water – wont clean, too little – harmful


180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius), and the surface or item must be immersed for at least 30 seconds.

when to clean and sanitize

any time it comes in contact with food. Also, clean and sanitize a surface or an instrument any time you switch from working with one food to another. If you are interrupted while preparing food, clean and sanitize your tools before resuming the task. Food contact surfaces and utensils, such as counter tops, cutting boards, knives, etc., should be cleaned and sanitized after each use or after 4 hours of continuous use. When not in use, sanitizing equipment and chemicals should be stored in a cool, dry area away from food and preparation areas. Make sure they are properly labeled

cross contamination

refers to germs crossing from one food or surface to contaminate another. Cross-contamination can occur through hand contact, contaminated utensils or surfaces, and improper food storage.

how cross contamination occurs

especially dangerous when raw animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood—or juices from such foods—come into contact with ready-to-eat food or food that will not be cooked. Imagine that a green salad is mistakenly placed below a plate of raw chicken in a refrigerator. Liquid from the chicken drips onto the salad and it becomes contaminated with salmonella. The salad is then served, and the person who eats it becomes ill. Cross-contamination can also occur on food contact surfaces. For example, it would be unsafe to cut raw pork on a cutting board and then cut tomatoes on the same board without cleaning and sanitizing it between uses.

prevent cross contamination

wash your hands and change your gloves after touching any raw animal product. Store raw animal products below ready-to-eat food in refrigerators. Keep raw animal products separate from other foods during storage, preparation, and holding. Properly clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces after each use, and regularly throughout the day. Never allow the same surface or tool to touch both raw animal products and other foods, without being cleaned and sanitized in between. it is important that you keep different types of foods separate during the food preparation process. This is especially important when working with raw meats and meat products. Click on each icon to learn more about preventing situations that commonly cause cross-contamination.

raw meats

never store over ready to eat food meat juices may drip, always cover food

raw animal products

keep separte from all other foods

sanitize raw meat surfaces

clean everythign raw meats touch, never let any other food touch that has been touched by raw meats before sanitizing, use plastic cutting boards w/o grooves

wash hands

double hand wash after raw meats, hands can be carryiers of germs

3 compartment sinks

dishwashing: one for each step in the washing process, Before washing any heavily soiled items, they should be rinsed, scraped, or soaked as necessary in a different sink. Then, wash the items in the first basin, which should be filled with hot water and detergent. After washing, rinse the items in the second sink, which should be filled with clean water. Then, immerse the rinsed items in the third compartment, which should be filled with a sanitizing solution. As always, make sure to use the correct concentration. And when finished, air-dry the items. Never dry sanitized items with towels. To avoid contamination, all three sinks and the drain board must be cleaned and sanitized before each use. Never use this sink for any other purpose. For example, mop water should be disposed of in a curbed utility sink, not the three-compartment sink.

automatic dishwashers

. Scrap trays and water jets should be cleaned regularly, and temperature gauges must function accurately. If the dishwasher has no chemical sanitizing cycle, the final rinse should be performed at 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius) to properly sanitize, unless you’re using a single-temperature machine, which uses water at 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) for the entire wash-rinse cycle.

waste and pests

Waste, such as food scraps or packaging, is a natural result of food preparation. However, if waste isn’t controlled, it can result in cross-contamination or the presence of pests

control waste

use metal or heavy-duty plastic garbage containers. These containers should be leak-proof, durable, and easily cleaned. Use plastic liners in garbage containers. Containers kept outside the establishment or in areas where food is prepared should have tight-fitting lids. Be sure to place all waste in a garbage container. Never leave it lying around. Trash containers should be emptied often, especially those in food preparation areas. They should be emptied into adequate waste-storage areas or receptacles, such as properly maintained dumpsters. Waste-storage areas must be large enough to contain the waste your kitchen will produce, for the amount of time it must be stored. Clean all garbage containers often, both inside and out, as well as all garbage storage areas. All garbage containers and waste-storage areas must be completely pest-proof.

keep pests out

keep doors closed, store foods at least 6 inches from floor. Management should conduct regular self-inspections, and hire pest extermination experts when needed. Do your part to help by reporting any signs of pests that you notice. Unexplained holes or gnaw marks, nests, and small, pellet-like, black droppings all suggest a rodent problem. A strong oily odor or droppings that look like grains of black pepper indicate a roach problem.

tiem and temp

Most bacteria that cause food-borne illness grow best at temperatures close to 98 degrees Fahrenheit, the human body temperature. The more time bacteria have to multiply, the more dangerous they become. If you do not manage time and temperature correctly, the food you serve becomes much more likely to cause serious illness.


you should frequently use a thermometer to check the temperature of foods, and you should know how to use that thermometer correctly. The surface of food always heats or cools more quickly than the inside, so to get an accurate temperature reading, place the thermometer’s sensor near the center of a food item or container of food. If possible, stir the food first, to evenly distribute the heat and get a more accurate reading. The thermometers you use at work should be calibrated at least once a day. To "calibrate" means to make sure an instrument is accurate


put it in a substance with a known temperature and adjust the thermometer’s calibration mechanism as necessary to arrive at the known correct reading.

ice-point calibration method

glass of ice water will always be at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. To use the ice-point calibration method, place the thermometer in a glass of ice water and allow enough time for the reading to stabilize. If it does not read 32 degrees, you’ll need to adjust it until it does. Bimetallic stem thermometers use a calibration nut located beneath the dial, whereas digital models will use different calibrating mechanisms. Just make sure to read the instructions for the thermometer you will be using and follow your manager’s directions. You can also use the boiling-point method for calibration, in which you put the thermometer in boiling water and adjust the reading until it reads 212 degrees Fahrenheit—the temperature at which water boils at sea level. You’ll have to adjust the thermometer differently if your elevation differs greatly from sea level, as water will boil at a significantly lower temperature at high elevations. Ask your manager, if you are unsure of the boiling point at your elevation.

temp danger zone

potentially hazardous food can become deadly: between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit, or 5 and 57 degrees Celsius. When the temperature of potentially hazardous food falls within this range, bacteria can grow on it, making it unsafe to eat. Most bacteria that cause illness grow most rapidly between 80 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and any potentially hazardous food that stays in this temperature range for 4 hours or longer MUST be discarded. To avoid time and temperature abuse, keep all hot foods hot and all cold foods cold, as much as possible. There are times when food must pass through the danger zone, such as during preparation, cooling, and reheating, but you must minimize the time food spends at unsafe temperatures during these activities.


IN fridge, allow 1 day for every lb of food, never store thawing meat above ready-to-eat foods in the refrigerator. You may also thaw food by submerging it under running water that is 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) or lower (approximately room temperature). Do not use hot water. Only use water that is safe for drinking. You may use a microwave to thaw food, if the food will then be cooked immediately. But know that large items such as turkeys or roasts do not thaw well in the microwave. You may also thaw food as part of the cooking process. For instance, you may place frozen ground beef in a skillet and let it thaw while it cooks.

cook food properly

moniter temp, Cook pork, beef, and fish to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit, or 63 degrees Celsius. If the meat is ground, cook it to at least 155 degrees Fahrenheit, or 68 degrees Celsius, and keep it at that temperature for at least 15 seconds. Poultry, whether ground or not, should be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, or 74 degrees Celsius. If shell eggs will be served immediately, they must be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If they will be held for service (in a buffet line, for example), they must be cooked to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the risk of salmonella in unpasteurized eggs, other criteria must be met as well. When pooling or combining shell eggs, use three or fewer at a time. Discard any egg with an already broken shell, and cook eggs within 30 minutes after you crack them.


if not served immidiatly it must be held at a safe temp. if it spends too long in danger zone it must be discarded

hot holding temp

Once foods have been cooked to the required temperatures, keep hot foods at or above 135 degrees Fahrenheit until serving. This is called "hot-holding." When holding hot foods, check the internal food temperature at least every two hours. Stir the food regularly and before taking its temperature to distribute the heat evenly. Never mix freshly prepared food with food being held for service, so that you can easily track how long each batch has been held.

cold holding

Hold cold food at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Only whole fruits and raw vegetables may be stored directly on ice. All other cold foods should be placed in pans or on plates. Internal food temperatures should be checked regularly to ensure food does not become too warm.

2 stage cooling process

Do not leave food to cool at room temperature, as this is in the danger zone. Placing hot food directly into the refrigerator is not a safe cooling method, either. Placing a large quantity of hot food in the refrigerator will raise the fridge temperature into the danger zone, placing everything in the refrigerator at risk. The FDA Food Code suggests a two-stage cooling method. In the first stage, food is cooled from 135 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacteria grow the most rapidly in this range, and so the first stage should take no longer than two hours. In the second stage, food is cooled from 70 to 41 degrees or lower. The second stage should take no longer than four hours. Total cooling time must not exceed six hours.

cooling techniques

Divide food into smaller portions. The surface of a food cools faster than the inside. By dividing it, you give food more surface and less interior, so it will cool more quickly. Place the divided portions into small stainless steel pots or pans, with a maximum depth of two inches for solid foods or three inches for liquids, and then transfer them to the cooler. Leave food uncovered while it cools to allow heat to escape, but remember to cover it when it has finished cooling. You can also cool food using an ice water bath. Fill a sink or large pan with ice water. Then, set the bottom of a container of hot food into the ice water to cool it. Stirring the food will also help heat escape. Other methods include adding ice or cool water to the food as an ingredient, using cooling paddles, positioning pans to allow air to circulate around them, or using a blast or tumble chiller, if one is available. Your establishment probably has a preferred method or combination of methods, so if you have questions, ask your supervisor.

store food properly

Always label and date all stored food with a "use-by" date. Discard any food that has not been used by its labeled date, as well as any food that has been opened for seven or more days. Minimize waste by using older products first, as long as they’re still safe to use; this is called "first-in, first-out." To protect against pests, keep storage areas clean and dry, with all food at least six inches off the floor and away from walls. Do not store chemicals near food.

cold storage

Regularly check food temperatures in refrigerators. Keep food, particularly potentially hazardous food, in covered containers or properly wrapped. Remember: raw food should be stored below cooked or ready-to-eat foods, to prevent cross-contamination.

reheat food properly

When reheating food, heat it to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, or 74 degrees Celsius, within two hours. Do not use hot-holding equipment to reheat food. Instead, rapidly reheat the food with appropriate cooking equipment. Once it has reached at least 165 degrees, it can then be served or placed in hot-holding equipment. Any reheated food that does not reach 165 degrees within two hours must be thrown away.

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