8.3.10 Poor personal hygiene
Poor personal hygiene of food handlers is another major factor in food contamination. The most important contaminants of food are the microorganisms excreted with faeces from the intestinal tract of humans. These pathogens are transferred to the food from faecal matter present on the hands.
We have already mentioned failure to wash hands after visiting a toilet as a source of food contamination. Can you suggest other times when food handlers should wash their hands?
Hands should be washed before starting work on preparing food, and after touching any food, surface or equipment that may be contaminated (e.g. after handling raw meat).
Bad personal habits like scratching your hair and nose with your fingers also contributes to food contamination. Sneezing and coughing spreads contaminants and microorganisms through the air and onto uncovered food, and onto surfaces and hands that can transfer the infectious agents into food.