Personal Dress & Hygiene

Personal Dress and Hygiene Video

Before you start work or prepare any food, state, local and federal health agencies recommend you follow these daily practices to keep the food you prepare and serve safe. Staying healthy and wearing clean clothes will help prevent contamination that could cause foodborne illness. Personal safety is also important when working in a food service operation. Check with your supervisor about additional or specific policies your operation may follow.

Good health

  • Do not prepare food when you are ill, or have an open cut or sore on your hands or arms.
  • Report illnesses and symptoms such as diarrhea, and vomiting to your supervisor.
  • Avoid coughing and sneezing in food areas.

Good personal hygiene

1. Keep your hands clean.

  • Wash your hands and exposed parts of your arms before preparing food or as often as needed.
  • Use a designated hand sink.
  • Wet hands with warm, running water. Lather soap on hands. Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds, working lather up past wrists to any exposed part of the arm. Wash under fingernails and between fingers. Rinse thoroughly with running water. Dry hands thoroughly with a disposable towel or air dryer.

Wash after you:

  • use the restroom
  • touch your hair, face or body
  • cough, sneeze, or use a handkerchief or tissue
  • work with raw foods
  • handle chemicals
  • take out the garbage
  • handle dirty equipment or utensils

2. Prevent Bare-Hand Contact of Ready-to-Eat-Food.

  • Follow the Food Code and your standard operating procedures to prevent bare hand contact of ready-to-eat foods. 
  • If you wear gloves
    •  Wash your hands before putting on gloves.
    • Change them when they are soiled or torn and when you change tasks or handle a different type of raw or cooked foods – as often as you would wash your hands.

3. Do not eat, drink, or smoke in food preparation areas and while preparing food.

4. Keep nails clean and trimmed. - Do not wear nail polish or false nails.

5. Do not wear jewelry. - The only jewelry allowed is a plain ring such as a wedding band.

6. Wear clean clothes.

  • If you wear an apron:
    •  Make sure the apron is clean.
    • Do not use your apron as a towel.
    • Take off your apron and store it in the proper place before using the restroom.

7. Wear an effective hair restraint while working in a food preparation area. This can include a hair net or hat depending on your local guidelines. Men should also use beard restraints to keep hair from contacting food or food surfaces.

Protect yourself

For personal safety:

  • Do not wear loose clothing. 
  • Make sure your apron strings are tied securely. 
  • Wear slip resistant closed toe and heel shoes. 
  • Wear protective gloves and goggles as directed.

Check with your supervisor for the standard operating procedures on personal safety attire.

For more information check the personnal hygiene and safety procedures at your site.

Review Questions

Circle the best answer for proper personal dress and hygiene procedures.

  1. When do you need to wash your hands?
    1. After eating, drinking or smoking.
    2. After you touch any part of your body, face or hair.
    3. Before you put on gloves.
    4. All of the above.
  2. Which of the following is safe for you to wear in food service?
    1. Dangling earrings.
    2. Wrist watch.
    3. Plain wedding ban.
    4. Designer acrylic nails.
  3. Where should you wash your hands?
    1. Kitchen hand sink.
    2. Food prep sink.
    3. Warewashing sink.
    4. None of the above.
  4. For personal safety.
    1. Wear comfortable shoes.
    2. Change your apron at the end of the day.
    3. Wear slip resistant shoes.
    4. Use disposable gloves.
  5. If you wear gloves, when should you change them?
    1. When they are torn.
    2. After you touch any part of your body, face or hair.
    3. After you touch different types of food.
    4. All of the above.