Lane County Public Health's Environmental Health Service has professional staff who protect the public's health. They do this by inspecting food businesses and by educating and testing workers who handle and prepare food.
BACTERIA: A germ with only one cell. There are many different kinds; but many can cause illness when they grow and multiply. Soap and hot water will wash away bacteria.
VIRUS: A germ that can live inside of a cell. If given the chance, viruses will multiply enough to cause disease. Soap and hot water will wash away viruses.
HEPATITIS "A": A virus that causes liver disease. It spreads when someone has the virus in the feces. The viruses can get on hands and then on to food that another person eats. This is one reason to wash your hands well after using the toilet.
FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS: Sickness from eating food that was not safe; food poisoning.
Wash your hands often when working with food and drinks-this gets rid of germs that can make people sick. The best way to wash your hands is to scrub for 15-20 seconds with warm or hot running water and soap-then dry them with clean paper towels or an air dryer. Washing your hands well is one of the most important good health habits. It sounds too easy, but hand washing really works to wash away germs from your hands.
Remember to always wash your hands:
BEFORE you touch anything used to prepare food
BEFORE you touch food that will not be cooked
AFTER you handle trash and take out garbage
AFTER you handle dirty dishes
AFTER you work with RAW meat, fish, and poultry (Poultry: Birds raised for meat. Chicken and turkey are the most common kind of poultry; duck and goose are also sold for food.)
It's also very necessary to wash your hands: AFTER you go to the bathroom (used the toilet) and wash again when you return to the kitchen. AFTER you eat. AFTER you touch your face, hair, or body. AFTER you blow your nose. AFTER you cough or sneeze, because you must cover your mouth. AFTER you take a break and if you smoke, wash your hands afterwards.
Your kitchen should have a hand washing sink with hot water, soap and paper towels. Do not use your apron, or dish towels to dry your hands.
Germs such as bacteria and viruses, grow easily, so think of your hands and fingernails as always contaminated. Just because they look clean does not mean they are clean. Germs are too tiny to see with your eyes. If you do not wash your hands in the right way and keep your fingernails trimmed short, your hands can put germs in good which gets eaten by your customers. They may then get sick form these germs. This is called food borne illness or food poisoning. Soap and hot water will wash away germs. Plastic gloves can also spread germs. Wash your hands before putting on gloves and change gloves between tasks.
Remember to always wash your hands.