Personal Hygiene

It is essential that all staff and their managers understand the need for good personal hygiene and must adhere to the rules at all times. Managers must always lead by example in their dress, attitude, and working practices.


Hands are the main routes for transferring food poisoning bacteria. 40% of healthy adults carry Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria in their nose and throats, and 15% carry it on their skin; these bacteria, in the right conditions, can cause food poisoning. Other harmful bacteria can be picked up by the hands from dirty items, rubbish, and when visiting the toilet. Therefore frequent hand washing and/or glove changing is an essential step in protecting food from the risk of contamination. Hands must be washed in the hand basins provided, using hot water, bactericidal soap, and a nail brush (which must be frequently disinfected) and then dried with disposable paper towels.

Hands must be washed:

  • upon first entering a kitchen
  • between handling raw and cooked foods
  • after eating, smoking, handling waste
  • after going to the toilet / taking a break
  • after using cleaning chemicals / handling money
  • after sneezing, coughing or blowing the nose (using paper tissues only, not linen handkerchiefs, which must be disposed of immediately).

Bad habits such as picking or biting nails or skin, and touching the nose, teeth, hair and ears are forbidden, to prevent bacteria transferring via the hands to the food, preparation surfaces or utensils.

DISPOSABLE GLOVES must always be used when handling high risk foods and food which will receive no further cooking processes prior to sale or consumption. Gloves must be changed when a task is completed or when a new task is to commence, especially with raw and cooked foods.

Gloves must not be worn outside a food area. Clean gloves must be worn when recommencing work after a break or upon changing catering duties or tasks. Gloves must not be worn when working over a heat source.

Regular, thorough hand washing must still regularly be performed in order to minimise the risk of contaminating food, as hands may sweat in the gloves if worn for any length of time.


Daily baths or showers must be taken by all food handlers in order to maintain hygiene and prevent body odour. No strong perfume/after-shave is allowed as it can taint food with a high fat content; deodorants/anti-perspirants are both permissible and desirable.


Nails must not be bitten or picked. They must be short, clean, and not painted with any nail varnish.


Hair must be washed regularly and if not short, tied back from the face; long hair must be covered with a hair net, available from a dispenser at the kitchen entrance. All staff must wear hats to reduce the risk of food contamination with hair.

Beards and moustaches must be kept clean and neatly trimmed at all times. If permitted otherwise, men should be clean-shaven.


All cuts and minor wounds must be securely enclosed with blue waterproof dressings to prevent blood contamination, and to protect the food handler from possible infection. Plasters must be changed regularly.

All staff must know the location of a trained First Aider. The department first aid box must be kept clean and well stocked; it is the Manager’s responsibility to ensure this, and restocking of the box has to be arranged as required, by a staff member allocated that task.


Feet must be kept clean and correct footwear worn (safety shoes). Shoes must be CLEAN, sturdy but with no deep tread and must be non-slip. Specific footwear may be required depending upon the nature of work.


Jewellery can harbour germs, and also poses a risk of foreign body contamination, therefore in High Risk areas (kitchens, food preparation areas):

The only permissible jewellery is a plain wedding ring and one pair of small sleeper hoop earrings.

Low Risk areas (waiters, waitresses): As above, but watches are permissible.


It is illegal to smoke or spit in a food room. Smoking must only be undertaken in the smoking sections of designated rest areas. Hands must be washed before recommencing work.


The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 Require That: “the proprietor of a food business shall ensure that all food handlers engaged in food handling are supervised and / or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activities”.

Before being allowed to commence work, a food handler MUST receive instruction in the essentials of food hygiene. New employees should be equipped with a food safety guidelines booklet by Blue Pudding will also attend a two hour long induction course in food hygiene. It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure that the instructions are read and understood, and that the training record form is signed by the employee, countersigned by the manager and retained by the manager in their unit’s training file.

It is also the manager’s responsibility to nominate food-handling staff to attend a Basic Food Hygiene and C.O.S.H.H. courses within three months of commencing work.

Food handlers working with high-risk foods require extra supervision and training, and it must be considered essential to undertake the ‘Food Hygiene and Safety Certificate’ course at Intermediate level.

It is highly recommended that senior managers obtain the Food Hygiene and Safety Certificate course at Intermediate level in order that they can identify and understand the risks involved in food handling and are able to communicate them to their staff.

Departmental training records must be kept for Food Hygiene and Health & Safety courses, which must be countersigned by the staff member once they have successfully completed a course (see Appendix). If a manager or staff member moves unit, their training record must be taken with them and placed in the new units training file.


Training ought to be organised by Blue Pudding and can be undertaken by the cleaning chemical suppliers to ensure that staff are aware of the risks and hazards involved when handling cleaning chemicals within the Catering areas. They will be instructed how to safely store, use and recognise any chemicals in use in their daily work as well as understand why certain protective equipment must be worn when using them.

Safety data sheets will have to be provided specifically for each unit and must be at hand at all times. These sheets contain important information on how to store, dilute and use each chemical as well as details of essential protective equipment and first aid measures.

For more information go to COSHH.

Safe Use Of Knives

Knives can be dangerous and must be treated with respect; chefs will only be allowed to work with them after initial training has been carried out during kitchen induction.

  • To reduce the risk of injury to the user or their colleagues, chefs must adhere to the following rules when handling knives:
  • Always select the right knife for the task.
  • Knives should be kept sharp and have handles that can be properly held.
  • Use a firm grip and even pressure for cutting, cut downwards, and avoid cutting towards the body.
  • Never try to catch a falling knife.
  • Do not leave knives lying around on worktops, cutting boards or in washing-up sinks.
  • After use, clean them and store them in suitable clean sheaths or racks.
  • Cutting blocks, tables, and boards should be smooth, firm, and clean.
  • There should be enough room for the user to safely carry out a task without being bumped by another person.
  • When carrying knives always carry them blade downwards.
  • For boning out or other procedures that require the user to draw the knife towards the body, chain mail protective gloves and aprons must be worn.
  • Code Of Practice For Knives
  • All new starters should be trained in the safe use of knives and if necessary in the use of chain mail gloves for protection.
  • All meat that is frozen must be thoroughly thawed before trimming commences.

Chain mail gloves must be available when using meat cleavers, band saws or when boning out carcasses, when chain mail aprons will also be required.

All equipment and knives, whether personal property or belonging of Blue Pudding, must be in a satisfactory and safe condition at all times.

The following bad practices must be avoided at all times:

  • Catching a falling knife.
  • Being bumped whilst working with a knife.
  • Lack of concentration / being distracted.
  • Carrying or cleaning a knife carelessly.
  • Using a blunt knife as more pressure on the blade than is needed will be used.
  • Stabbing the body while cutting frozen meat.
  • Not following safe working practices.
  • Leaving a knife unattended or partially covered.
  • Sharpening a knife carelessly or without training.
  • Using a knife for any purpose for which it is not intended.
  • Cutting towards you.
  • Leaving a knife in washing-up water.

Operational Precautions

  • Recommended methods must be followed at all times.
  • Know your knives and how sharp they are.
  • Do not allow anyone to reach into your cutting area. Any product required by another chef is to be handed over by you.
  • You are in charge of your knife and of your cutting area.
  • Do not distract anyone working with a knife.
  • Always work with the cutting edge away from you.
  • Always alert another chef working with a knife that you are about to pass them if you are in a confined working space.
  • Avoid walking around the kitchen with a knife in your hand. If you have to do this always, do so carefully with the point facing down. Cover the blade wherever possible.
  • Always pick up a knife by the handle.
  • Never try to catch a falling knife.
  • Never lay knives down on work surfaces with the blades facing upwards or where they may get covered up.
  • Chain mail gloves and aprons must be worn by inexperienced staff and wherever possible for butchery duties.
  • Sharpening knives must be done carefully using sharpening steel with a hand guard at the base of the handle. The steel must be held with a clean, non-gloved hand and must always be gripped behind this guard.
  • Never us a knife as a lever.
  • Always be careful when cleaning knives. Never place them in a sink of soapy water, especially if there are other utensils in there and may be washed by someone else.
  • Do not clean knives in sinks used for hand washing.

Protective Clothing

Blue Pudding provides protective clothing, with facilities to wash and change dirty for clean clothing every day and more frequently if necessary.


  • Protective clothing must:
  • Be kept clean at all times.
  • Only be worn in catering areas.
  • Be stored away from food areas in suitably secure but ventilated lockers.
  • Have no pockets, no buttons (studs are best), be white and easily cleaned.
  • Hats must either be washable or disposable and worn at all times in food rooms.
  • Disposable gloves must be worn for high-risk foods and separate ones for cleaning.
  • The butcher when boning out meat must wear chain mail gloves and aprons.

Specific protective clothing may be required depending upon the nature of the work being carried out; it should be provided by Blue Pudding and must be worn at all times. The managers must control this. Staff must ensure that they are kept clean and in good repair and any damage noted to their manager for remedial action.

Reporting Of Illness

Food Handlers have a legal obligation to report the following conditions to their manager immediately:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea (3 or more loose stools in 24 hours)
  • Persistent cough, cold, sore throat, influenza
  • Skin infections on hands or face
  • Skin rashes, dermatitis, eczema, flaking skin
  • Discharge from the ears, nose, eyes or wound
  • Ill health whilst on holiday

Managers should telephone a senior manager or safety advisor, if available, for advice regarding staff reporting any of the above. If the member of staff needs to attend a doctor, an appointment should be made immediately.

Food Handlers suffering from gastro-intestinal upsets may be required to submit stool samples, to exclude pathogenic infection; they will be excluded from work as a food handler until they have been passed fit by a doctor.

In the case of serious (notifiable) food poisoning, the doctor can order extensive stool sampling and exclusion of staff until they are clinically fit to work.

Hand Washing Policy

Hand washing facilities comprising a hand basin, liquid bactericidal soap, hot and cold water along with a nailbrush (which must be frequently disinfected) and an adequate supply of disposable paper towels must be provided throughout the catering areas. Waste disposal bins with tight fitting, foot-operated lids must be provided beside these sinks at all times.

It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure that hand basins are kept clean and free from any waste food or dirty utensils at all times and that a notice is prominently displayed that the basin is “for hand washing only”. They must not be used for washing food or utensils.

Managers must also ensure that staff washes their hands regularly, especially between handling high and low risk foods and after taking a break or using the toilet.

Disposable Glove Policy

As an addition to hand washing, disposable gloves can be worn for messy tasks or when handling high-risk foods.

These are an aid to hygiene only and their use must not be abused.

They must be changed at the same frequency as for hand washing and never worn outside a catering area.

Clean gloves must be used for each new task especially when handling high-risk foods or those that will receive no further cooking or heat treatment prior to consumption.

Gloves must not be worn when operating slicing, cutting, or mincing machinery as a degree of manual dexterity may be lost which may result in personal injury. Hands must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to these tasks.

While wearing gloves, hands must still be regularly washed with bactericidal soap as bacteria from sweat produced on the hands while wearing the gloves can multiply to dangerous levels and possibly contaminate food once gloves are removed.

Supplies of disposable gloves are available a variety of sizes; if a member of staff is sensitive to either the glove material or the powder inside them, hypoallergenic gloves can be obtained from suppliers.

These gloves must be disposed of carefully. When they are taken off, they must be rolled off the hand from the heel of the hand to the fingertips so that they are inside out. They must then immediately thrown into a waste bin.

Staff Toilets / Changing Areas

All toilets within catering areas are for the use of catering staff only and must be cleaned only by cleaning personnel in order to reduce the risk of cross contamination with cleaning cloths. A notice must be prominently displayed instructing staff to wash their hands after using the toilets.

Bactericidal soap, hot and cold running water, a nail brush and disposable paper towels for hand drying must be provided at each hand wash basin and must be kept stocked by porters who are also responsible for cleaning these areas. A lidded waste bin must be provided beside the basin for the soiled paper towels.

All staff must use the changing facilities provided. No protective clothing may be taken into toilet cubicles and it must be left outside on the pegs, which should be provided. Protective clothing must not be worn outside the catering area. Hats and aprons must not be worn during breaks.

Soiled protective clothing must be removed from the changing area and stored separately from clean clothing in order to prevent cross contamination. Personal clothing, shoes and bags are not permitted inside food rooms and must be stored in the lockers provided in the changing areas. Smoking is not allowed in either the sanitary accommodation or the changing rooms.

Cleaning & Disinfection

The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 require that premises and equipment be kept clean. Cleaning must be planned, managed, and monitored and every department must maintain detailed cleaning schedules.


All food areas must be kept to the highest standards of cleanliness at all times.

Cleaning schedules must list every item to be cleaned within the food area, state the frequency of cleaning, how it is to be cleaned, and who is responsible for the task. The cleaning schedules must be kept up-to-date at all times and be signed by the manager after checking. An example of a cleaning schedule can be found in the appendix.

Food and hand contact surfaces, work surfaces and sinks must be sanitised after use. After washing, the item must be sprayed with a diluted chemical and left for one minute before rinsing. Sanitising solutions must be made up regularly and discarded if not used as the bactericidal action deteriorates quickly once the powder is mixed with water. Where possible, chopping boards must be passed through a dishwashing machine, as the high temperature (+82°C) effectively kills pathogenic bacteria.

Staff must be trained in the safe use of chemicals. The majority of cleaning chemical suppliers will carry out this training and all staff that uses the chemicals must attend. Chemicals and cleaning equipment must be stored in their original containers with tight fitting lids and stored separately from food. It is dangerous to mix chemicals or to use too strong a concentration. If in doubt regarding chemical use, refer to the COSHH manual, which has to be available in every outlet, or consult the Chief Steward or Food Safety Advisor before using the chemicals. All managers must ensure that their staff use personal protective equipment at all times, regularly checking that it is available for use and in good working order.

Failure by managers to supervise the safe use of chemicals by their staff could lead to disciplinary action.

Only disposable cleaning equipment is to be used. If re-used, the cloths, sponges etc. must be sanitised and left to air dry. Under no circumstances may dirty water be left in mop buckets or sinks overnight. All chemicals must be resealed and returned to the chemical store at the end of every shift.

The department manager is responsible for maintaining standards of cleanliness and must closely monitor all cleaning. If standards of contractors or night cleaning are poor, the manager must contact the relevant company or department and report the problems. A Food Safety Advisor can be contacted for any advice on specific cleaning or chemicals to be used on equipment or surfaces. The Chief Steward is responsible for all cleaning carried out by the porters.

Staff involved in the cleaning of cutting, mixing or mincing equipment must be properly trained for the task as well as being closely supervised. Staff must be over 18 years old to clean such equipment and a record of the training given must be signed by that member of staff and the manager /supervisor and kept in their training file.

All dangerous or electrical equipment must be isolated before any cleaning is to commence, and the necessary guarding systems must be adequate to protect all staff members.

The Food Safety Act 1990:

It is an offence to sell, offer for sale or have in possession food intended for human consumption which is injurious to health, unfit for human consumption or so contaminated that it would not be reasonable to expect it to be used for human consumption. All of these would apply to food containing harmful substances, which only our employees are already safeguarded against by complying with the requirements of COSHH.

We have a duty of care under the Food Safety Act 1990 where we must be able to demonstrate that we have taken all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence in safeguarding the consumer and against offences being committed.

All part used or obsolete chemicals must be taken to the supplier in their original containers where they will be disposed of safely. Part filled or damaged chemical containers must never be thrown into a compactor.

First Aid

First Aid facilities must be provided in all food areas. Uncovered wounds can be a source of infection.

If first aid is required for customers or staff:

Contact the nearest First Aider. If they are unavailable, contact an Ambulance

Each department must have a First Aid box that is easily accessible to staff. The manager of each department must allocate a staff member to be responsible for keeping the box clean, tidy and well stocked; supplies can be replenished from the local pharmacy or doctor by prior arrangement.

The name and location of the nearest First Aider must be clearly marked by the First Aid box and must be known to all staff. Blue Pudding provides First Aid Training, as larger companies have their own fully trained First Aiders.

Wastes Disposal


All waste must be stored in foot operated, lidded waste bins which must be kept clean and well maintained.

Waste must not be allowed to overflow and the disposable plastic bin liners must be emptied when they become around 2/3 full to prevent excess weight and possible tearing of the bag when it is being transported. They must be sealed and stored away from food areas until taken to the compactor. The bins must be completely emptied at the end of every working day in order that pests are not attracted and a clean bag inserted into the bin. Clean plastic bin liners must not be stored at the bottom of the bin.

Cardboard boxes and large packs must be broken down flat and transported to the cardboard compactor and will be collected by a separate company for recycling. The refuse holding area must be cleaned down regularly as must the waste bins and any trolleys used for its transportation.

Any waste cardboard that has food spills or blood soaked into it must be discarded as for other food waste as it cannot be allowed to contaminate the dry cardboard.

Waste Oil

A contract company that cleans the deep fat fryers on a daily basis will place all waste oil into adequate lidded containers.

The contractors must leave the kitchen area and appliances in a clean and safe condition. They must clean all spills on floors and the area made safe prior to staff arriving for work.

All roasting dishes or frying pan’s waste oil must be poured into metal containers, allowed to cool safely and left for the contract company to remove.

Under no circumstances can any waste oil be poured down drains, sinks, or food waste units.

Food Waste

As with refuse, all food waste must be stored in foot operated bins with tight fitting lids. The bags must be emptied regularly and taken to the waste collection point at the end of every day.

The waste bins must be kept clean at all times both inside and out and staff handling waste must thoroughly wash their hands with bactericidal soap before recommencing work with food. Food waste disposal units in some kitchens must be used carefully to prevent them becoming blocked. All food waste must be accurately recorded before it is discarded and these waste disposal machines must only be used sparingly for small and soft items. Solid items such as bones or non-food waste must always be placed into the plastic bags.

Glass Waste

A separate waste bin must be used for storing all empty bottles and other glass containers. This glass must then be carefully taken to the glass recycling bins on the sixth floor and placed carefully inside. Any glass that is broken or dropped on the way must be carefully cleared away immediately.

Protective gloves must be available for all of the porters transporting the bags to the glass collection area.

Protective goggles must be worn when emptying the full bags into the skips to prevent the risk of eye or hand injury from broken glass.

Waste Beef Bones

The Animal by-products Order, 1992, UK, states that all waste bones must by law be disposed of separately in order that they cannot contaminate other types of waste, due to fears of BSE being transmitted into the food chain. Details of all bones sent for rendering must be recorded and kept on file for two years.

A specialist company who should take them away for rendering should collect the waste bones three times per week.

No waste bones may be discarded along with any other type of waste until the Government ban has been lifted.

Pest Control

A specialist company carries Pest control treatments and preventative measures out every week once.

Staff must be made aware of the importance of recognising and reporting any signs of food pests.

The suspected presence of food pests must be reported to the relevant senior manager of Food Safety Advisor, who will arrange for the area to be inspected and treated. Details of the problem must be taken on the ‘Pest Control Report form’ in the appendices.

Where possible, any dead pest should be retained for examination either by the Food Safety Advisor or the Pest Control expert in order that the species can be identified and the correct remedial action implemented.

It is extremely important that staff do not ‘chase’ pests, attempting to kill them as serious accidents can very easily occur when make shift fly swatters are waved around.

All food areas must be kept free from crumbs, grease and food debris, and be well maintained in order to deter the presence of pests. Ensuring that all defective parts of the building are repaired promptly will also deny pests’ access to the food areas, so any defects or damaged parts of the building must be reported to the Engineers as soon as possible.

Periodically bait or poison boxes, which are usually of a hard, white plastic material clearly labelled as such, are placed throughout the catering areas and stock rooms. These are an aid to detecting any insects or other pests and must not be touched or moved around. These bait boxes may contain low doses of poison (usually harmless to humans) which could encounter food if abused.

If any become dislodged or damaged, they must be reported to the specialist company immediately, giving the location and number on the box.

Staff must not handle baits or poisons under any circumstances