Hand washing compliance among retail food establishment workers in Minnesota

Division of Environmental Health, Minnesota Department of Health, St Paul, Minnesota 55121, USA.
Journal of food protection (Impact Factor: 1.85). 01/2005; 67(12):2825-8.
Source: PubMed


Inadequate hand washing by food workers is an important contributing factor to foodborne disease outbreaks in retail food establishments (RFEs). We conducted a survey of RFEs to investigate the effect of hand washing training, availability of hand washing facilities, and the ability of the person in charge (PIC) to describe hand washing according to the Minnesota Food Code (food code) on workers' ability to demonstrate food code-compliant hand washing. Only 52% of the PICs could describe the hand washing procedure outlined in the food code, and only 48% of workers could demonstrate code-compliant hand washing. The most common problems observed were failure to wash for 20 s and failure to use a fingernail brush. There was a strong positive association between the PIC being a certified food manager and being able to describe the food code hand washing procedure (odds ratio [OR], 5.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2 to 13.7), and there was an even stronger association between the PIC being able to describe hand washing and workers being able to demonstrate code-compliant hand washing (OR, 15; 95% CI, 6 to 37). Significant associations were detected among correct hand washing demonstration, physical infrastructure for hand washing, and the hand washing training methods used by the establishment. However, the principal determinant of successful hand washing demonstration was the PIC's ability to describe proper hand washing procedure. These results suggest that improving hand washing practices among food workers will require interventions that address PIC knowledge of hand washing requirement and procedure and the development and implementation of effective hand washing training methods.

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Available from: Craig W Hedberg, Sep 17, 2014
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    • "Among those we found 36 published manuscripts, mainly in university/school settings (Anderson et al., 2008; Drankiewicz & Dundes, 2003; Guinan & McGuckin, 2006; Thrumma, Aiello, & Foxman, 2008); in public restrooms (Johnson et al., 2003; Judah et al., 2009) and in hospitals (Harris et al., 2000; Larson et al., 2000; Yildiz & Savaser, 2010). Among those 36, we found only four conducted in restaurant settings (Allwood et al., 2004; Green et al., 2006; Pilling et al., 2009; Strohbelm et al., 2008). "
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    • "In a review of 23 restaurant-associated Salmonella outbreaks in Minnesota, USA, between 1995 and 2003, Medus et al. (2006) claimed that IJCHM 19,6 12 percent of foodservice workers tested positive for Salmonella leading them to conclude that infected workers were an important source of transmission. Allwood et al. (2004) found that only 52 percent of the persons in charge of retail food establishments could describe hand washing procedures as outlined in the Minnesota Food Code, and only 48 percent of foodservice workers could demonstrate code-compliant hand washing. In the UK, a study by the Food Standards Agency observed that 55 percent of catering workers did not appear to wash their hands before preparing food, and about 33 percent did not have a basic hygiene certificate (Rudder, 2006). "
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