As a food handler, you are responsible for what the public takes into their body

If not handled properly, the food you handle can become contaminated and cause customers to become ill and can even lead to death

Types of contamination: 

  • Biological – “germs” such as bacteria, parasites, viruses

  • Physical – objects such as hair, false nails, plasters, jewelry, broken equipment 

  • Chemical – kitchen chemicals, insecticides, detergents etc.


10 Golden Rules of Personal Hygiene

  1. Hair must be clean and in a hair net whenever in the kitchen. Do not scratch or comb hair when working with food or wearing your apron.

  2. Do not wear thick make-up.

  3. Only small jewelry such as wedding bands and ear studs allowed – larger items can get caught in equipment. Germs can also collect in and under larger items.

  4. Fingernails should be short and clean. Germs can get trapped underneath longer nails.

  5. Do not touch the face, particularly the nose, while preparing food. This area can contain harmful bacteria. Be sure to throw away your tissue and wash hands after blowing your nose.

  6. Wash hands regularly throughout work and especially after visiting the toilet and eating your tea/lunch or smoking. 

  7. Always be clean-shaven/beard trimmed and bath daily.

  8. Never smoke around food – bacteria from your mouth can get onto your fingers and then onto the food. 

  9. Never lick your fingers or taste food with fingers – always use a tasting spoon/fork and only use it once. 

  10. Never take tea/lunch breaks in the cooking/serving area – food may fall and contaminate surfaces and your hands. 


In addition to staying hygienic, it is important to always look neat and well presented for work. This shows respect for your team, your customers and also for yourself.