Handwashing – First Line of Defense Against COVID-19

From Chefs for Chefs, Tips and Tricks for Chefs

In partnership with Unilever Professional

In navigating kitchen operations with the COVID-19 threat, food workers must exercise extra precautions to ensure cleanliness, safety, and health. While the virus is not known to be transmitted through food, it is important to keep proper hygiene for our team’s health.


Have adequate hand washing facilities for your food workers

More than any other procedure, handwashing is the proven first line of defense against infection. World Health Organization advises that businesses should provide adequate sanitary facilities to allow food workers to thoroughly and frequently wash their hands. This includes provision for clean running water and hand drying afterwards.

Gloves may be used but must be changed frequently.

Gloves should not be used as a substitute for handwashing and hands must be washed in between glove changes and whenever gloves are removed. As in standard food safety and food handling practices, disposable gloves should be part of the food handling routine. In the threat of COVID-19, food workers must be more vigilant in changing gloves more often, to make sure that virus may be prevented from building up. The COVID-19 virus may contaminate gloves in the same way that it gets onto workers’ hands, The World Health Organization advises further that "gloves must be changed after carrying out non-food related activities, such as opening/closing doors by hand, and emptying bins." Wearing gloves can still allow bacteria to build up on the surface of the hands, so handwashing is still important whenever gloves are removed to avoid any other contamination of food."

Place reminders all over the kitchen area for food workers to wash their hands all the time.

Sometimes, the risk of being in gloves is that food workers have a false sense of security, and may result in not washing their hands as frequently. Place posted cues across the kitchen to remind food workers to wash their hands.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is merely suggestive and based on chef experiences. Nothing on this page is providing any assurance regarding an increase in sales, demands, profits or any other aspect whatsoever. Results arising from implementing the suggestions may vary and the website owner shall not be held liable.