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Food handlers: fitness to work

Staff who handle food have a responsibility to ensure that they prepare, cook and serve food in a hygienic way.

It is easy to pass on germs when handling food. To prevent this food handlers must:

  • Always wash their hands
  • Tell the boss if they are unwell

Wash hands thoroughly using warm water and soap and dry them:

  • After using the toilet, at home or at work
  • Before starting work and after breaks
  • After handling raw food
  • After handling rubbish

Tell the boss if:

  • You have been sick (vomiting)
  • You have diarrhoea
  • You have infected (red, swollen, pus containing) sores or cuts
  • You feel unwell
  • You were ill while on holiday
  • Anyone in your household has sickness/diarrhoea

Food handlers must be symptom free for 48 hours before returning to work and should check with their employers and GP before returning.

Food handlers: fitness to work - Food Standards AgencyOpens new window

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