“I have signs in my washrooms that say, `Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work,’” a restaurant owner from Atlanta tells us. He then adds, “The problem is, I don’t like those signs. I think they remind customers that there is a chance my employees might not wash their hands after visiting the bathroom. Plus, I’m never completely sure the signs really get my workers to wash up properly before going back onto the floor to handle food.”

These comments made us wonder how effective those signs really are, even though we see them in restaurants everywhere. His observations also remind us that there is more to good employee hygiene than just having clean hands, because employees should also ensure they are doing the following:

  • Stay home from work if they are not feeling well, or if family members are suffering from certain illnesses that include intestinal upsets
  • Wash their uniforms, work outfits and underwear (which they should change daily) in hot water
  • Shower daily and wash their hair
  • Wash their hands not only after visiting the bathroom, but after they touch their hair, sneeze, change their shoes, shake hands with patrons, pick up items that have fallen on the floor, touch doorknobs and other accessible surfaces, and more
  • Refrain from using hand sanitizers on the job
  • Know how to clean tables and nearby surfaces if they have noticed that a customer is ill

Training Is the Key

Putting up signs in washrooms is an important thing to do, but given the considerations we named above, it is clear that signs cannot completely protect patrons from disease. As we all know, if just one customer becomes ill after patronizing your establishment, your business’s reputation and profitability can suffer.

That is why you need effective, comprehensive training – training that raises your employees’ consciousness and teaches the right skills and protocols to prevent foodborne illnesses. You’ll find the training courses you need right here at Food Safety of America Institute, including “Critical Hand Washing and Sanitizing Skills for Restaurants” and “Personal Hygiene Rules and Routines for Food Service Personnel.” Be sure to check out our courses here and contact us if you have any questions.