Hand Washing and Food Handling

Food Handlers Illness Reporting Policy


To help reduce the risk of foodborne disease transmission, all students who prepare or handle food in the course of their studies and/or student employment must sign and abide by a Food Handler Reporting Agreement. This agreement requires students to notify their Person In Charge (PIC)/faculty member of their food service site/laboratory classroom when they experience certain symptoms or have been diagnosed with or exposed to certain illnesses. The dean/site supervisor, with the guidance of the FDA Food Code sections 2-2, will determine if the student must be restricted or excluded from their class or work place.

The purpose of this reporting requirement is so that the university can take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of foodborne illness transmission, while complying with the FDA Food Code. Failure to comply with the terms of this reporting agreement may jeopardize the health of students, faculty and guests, as well as lead to legal action by the university and/or state regulatory agency, and possible dismissal from the academic program or termination of student employment status. 


Students who have the following symptoms are required to report these symptoms to their PIC/faculty member:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • jaundice
  • sore throat with fever


Students who have lesions containing pus (boil or infected wound) that are open or draining, or meet the following specifications, must report these symptoms to the PIC/faculty member:

  • lesions that are on hand or wrist that can’t be protected through an impermeable barrier
  • lesions that are on exposed portions of forearms that can’t be protected through an impermeable barrier
  • other exposed body parts that can’t be covered by a dry, durable, tight fitting bandage

Foodborne Illness

Students who have been diagnosed by a health practitioner with an illness due to one of the following illnesses, or who have been identified as the suspected source of an outbreak from the following illnesses, are required to report to their PIC/faculty member:

  • norovirus
  • hepatitis A virus
  • shigella spp
  • typhoid fever (caused by Salmonella Typhi)
  • Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli
  • Salmonella (non-Typhi)


Students who meet the requirements of exposure as defined below must also report the circumstances to the PIC/faculty member:

  • Students have consumed food prepared by a person who has been diagnosed with a reportable disease.
  • Students have consumed foods or prepared foods that have been implicated in a confirmed outbreak.
  • Students live with someone who has been diagnosed with a reportable disease.
  • Students have attended or worked at an event where a confirmed outbreak has occurred.

Handwashing Policy


Proper personal hygiene is essential to the prevention of foodborne illness. In compliance with the FDA Food Code 2-3 Personal Cleanliness, the university has adopted the following policy on handwashing.

Preventing Contamination from Hands

Food handlers must wash their hands and exposed portion of their arms with an approved cleaning compound for at least 20 seconds, thoroughly rinse their hands with clean water, and properly dry their hands with a disposable towel or other approved method. Handwashing must occur at sinks designated for handwashing.

All food handlers shall keep their fingernails trimmed, filed and maintained so the edges and surfaces are smooth and cleanable. Fingernail polish and false nails are expressly prohibited. 

When to Wash

Food handlers must wash their hands as indicated above

  • upon entering the kitchen
  • immediately prior to engaging in any food preparation activities
  • prior to donning gloves
  • after touching bare human body parts
  • after using the restroom
  • after coughing, sneezing, eating, drinking or using a handkerchief or disposable tissue
  • after handling soiled equipment and utensils
  • during food preparation as necessary to remove soil and contamination and to prevent cross contamination when changing tasks
  • when switching between working with raw food products and ready-to-eat (RTE) food products
  • after engaging in ANY activity that may contaminate hands

Glove Usage

Single-use gloves shall be used for only one task and discarded when damaged or soiled. If the operation is interrupted, gloves must be discarded, hands washed and new gloves donned. Hands must be washed immediately prior to donning gloves to prevent possible cross contamination. 

Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Foods

Ready-to-eat (RTE) food is defined as a food that is edible without washing, cooking or additional preparation.

Bare-hand contact is expressly prohibited with RTE food items. To prevent contamination from hands, food handlers may use single-use gloves, deli tissues, spatulas, tongs or other suitable food service utensils.