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Learn how to wash your hands properly before handling food.
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Hi! I’m Jennifer McEntire with the Institute of Food Technologists. And today, we’re talking about food safety. One of the critical steps in food safety is simply washing your hands. When I was young and I would play outside, I will come in and my mom would say, “Time to eat, wash your hands.” This is really important and we should follow what our mom said.
This is particularly important during cold and flu season. According to the CDC, washing our hand is very effective at preventing all kinds of illness, not just foodborne illness. If you have pets that you’ve been touching, playing with, just wash your hands, it’s a really simple step to take. But there is some technique involved and today we’re going to show you that.
What you want is warm running water, wet your hands, use soap and it doesn’t really matter what kind of soap you use, but it’s really important that you lather off, that you make lots of bubbles of and there are places that you may not normally think off. This includes this part up a little bit into the wrist, under the fingernails and it’s recommended that you use a brush if you have longer nails like I do. To get all those cracks and crevices, all the spots in your hands, make sure that they’re good and clean.
You want to wash your hands for about 20 seconds and there are several ways that you can account for 20 seconds, you can count, you can sing, some people sing happy birthday twice, some people sing the ABC’s. I’m teaching my daughter her ABCs and teaching her about good hand washing, so we do to the ABCs. But get that 20 seconds in, make sure all the soap is off and then you’re ready to dry your hands. It’s recommended that you use a paper towel because it’s fresh, it’s clean. You can alternatively use a dish towel as long as it’s clean. Some people don’t like to waste paper towels, they want to use the dish towel, but if you use the same dish towel over and over again, you can get back to that issue of cross contamination, having a dirty dish towel or just transfer that dirt onto these nice clean hands.
Now that we’ve cleaned our hands, we’re ready to go and get our food from the refrigerator!