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Scores On Doors heavily penalises food premises that do not ensure that staff are correctly washing their hands.

Given that dirty hands are one of the most efficient means of cross contaminating food and spreading germs, and is one of the simplest to avoid, it makes sense that it is heavily policed.

Currently the points relating to hand washing are:

14: Food handlers wash and dry hands thoroughly using hand wash facilities – 1 point

18: Food handlers wash hands before commencing/recommencing work and after: using the toilet, sneezing, smoking, handling raw meat, cleaning – 8 points (that’s an automatic fail)

20: Food washing facilities easily accessible and used only for washing of hands, arms and face – 1 point

21: Hand washing facilities have warm running water through single spout, single use towels and soap – 4 or 8 points (another automatic fail)

So not only is it possible to score 18 points for incorrect hand washing, it is possible to have two automatic failures.

So what can a business do to ensure they aren’t penalised?

Start with the easy (I didn’t say cheap, I said easy) things that don’t relate to people. Ensure that the facilities are there, are available, and are working. This may mean ensuring that there are other sinks available for the preparation of food.

Then next to the basin put in a fixed hand wash dispenser like OxyBAC. You want to use a hand wash that is designed for frequent use, is not rough on sensitive hands (otherwise your staff won’t use it) and is fast acting. Like I said, Oxybac J

Then ensure that your procedures clearly state when staff are to wash their hands.

Now for the hard part – convincing your staff to wash their hands. Telling staff they need to wash their hands, and policing it are both important, but you have to convince staff that it is in everyone’s best interest to regularly wash their hands.

We recommend Glitterbug Potion for training. It is a fun way to show people how poorly they wash their hands, and how they can’t assume they know how to wash their hands. It is used as part of many food safety training courses, but we recommend that all food premises use it to train their own staff.


Next I look at Scores on Doors and temperature.

For the start of the series go to Scores On Doors Overview.