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Proper Handwashing, Sanitizing, and COVID-19

COVID-19 or influenza? Wash your hands often, before and after eating, even when you’re out. Handwashing is one the most effective ways to stop the spread of illness. Watch the video from the National Restaurant Association/ServSafe for techniques.

You need to wash your hands after:

  • using the toilet.
  • touching your hair, face, body, apron or clothing.
  • handling raw meat, raw poultry, raw seafood.
  • taking out the garbage, sneezing or coughing.
  • eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum or chewing tobacco.
  • handling money.
  • using chemicals that can make food unsafe.

You also need to wash your hands:

  • after handling service or aquatic animals.
  • after leaving the the kitchen/prep area or when you return to the kitchen/prep area.
  • before putting on gloves or starting a new task.
  • after touching or clearing off dirty linens or napkins.
  • after clearing tables or handling dirty dishes.

Sanitizing and cleaning during flu season and COVID-19:

Follow CDC recommendations (click to go to CDC website).  Refer to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for information on disinfectant dilution and sanitizing solutions.

  • NEVER mix bleach and ammonia. This will create a toxic gas that can cause severe illness or death.
  • Don’t use wet cloths with just water to wipe down tables. Use a sanitizer solution.
  • Change and refresh wet cloth solutions often, based on the number of tables you’re using. High turnover volume tables might require a wet cloth solution change every 15-30 minutes. Lower volume turnover might only need wet cloth solution changes every 1-2 hours.
  • Clean frequently touched items throughout the day: menus, salt/pepper shakers, condiments on table, tables or table coverings, chairs, booths, door knobs and handles.
  • Check the CDC site often for updates.
  • Prepare and have a plan for how to clean, sanitize, and handle new procedures during cOVID-19.
  • Use clear, honest communication with your employees and patrons.
  • Do not incite fear. Stay educated on the facts.
  • Post signage around your employee break areas and distribute to employee mailboxes or on your employee communication portal to encourage healthy habits and the safety of all employees and patrons.

Read, print, post or distribute these National Restaurant Association documents.

Stay up-to-date using reliable sources  and keep your employees informed.

Bodily Fluid Cleanup (PDF poster)

Handwashing (PDF tip sheet)

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing (PDF tip sheet)

Coronavirus COVID-19: Information Tips for Restaurants (PDF)