Food Handling, Cleanliness is Next to, Well, You Know

The United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down when it comes to preventing foodborne illness. Even though most healthy individuals can shake off the effects of a foodborne illness within a few hours to a few days, for people with compromised immune systems, senior citizens, young children, and pregnant women contracting a foodborne illness can be severe and even life-threatening.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the first step in preventing food poisoning is to Keep it Clean.

It all starts with clean hands. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. And it should go without saying that you should also wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.

Next, make sure your preparation surfaces and utensils are clean. Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item. Use disposable paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces, or if you prefer cloth cleaning towels be sure to launder them often using the hot cycle.

Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush. With canned goods, remember to clean lids before opening.

Whether you work in the food service industry, or just want to know more about safe food handling procedures when you are preparing food at home for your family, provides safe food handler training via an online learning environment with integrated exam platform, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Food Handler Classes is available in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. For more information visit