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 the Person In Charge (PIC)/faculty member of the food service site/laboratory classroom when students experience certain symptoms, or have been diagnosed with or exposed to certain illnesses. The executive director of food safety, with the guidance of the FDA Food Code 2-2, will determine if the student must be restricted or excluded from class/work.

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 the PIC:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • jaundice
  • sore throat with fever


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

  • 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 Diseases

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

  • norovirus
  • hepatitis A infection
  • shigellosis
  • typhoid fever
  • EHEC/STEC (enterohemorraghic or shig toxin producing e. coli)
  • E.coli (escherichia coli 0157:H7)
  • salmonella ssp. (non-typhi)


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

  • 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. Every student, faculty and staff member are required to adhere strictly to this policy. 

Preventing Contamination from Hands

Food handlers (faculty, staff and students) 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

  • prior to donning gloves
  • after touching bare human body parts
  • after using the restroom
  • upon entering the kitchen
  • after coughing, sneezing, eating, drinking or using a handkerchief or disposable tissue
  • after handling soiled equipment and utensils
  • immediately prior to engaging in any food preparation activities
  • during food preparation as necessary to remove soil and contamination and to prevent cross contamination
  • 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, and hands washed and new gloves donned. Hands must be washed immediately 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.