Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Good personal hygiene and grooming can prevent food poisoning. Even healthy people carry food poisoning bacteria with them. One can spread the bacteria from oneself to the food when they touch their nose, mouth, hair, clothes.
Good personal hygiene and grooming makes good business sense. Customers like to see food-handling staff who take hygiene seriously and practice safe food handling and self-grooming.
Personal hygiene and grooming are not the same. Grooming of a person plays a vital role in hygiene. A grooming standard of the person handling the kitchen determines the hygiene standards as well.
Personal grooming involves the duties of a person handling the kitchen to trim nails, groomed hair and shave beard, wear clean uniforms, shoes, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Grooming standards also involves the personal behaviour which requires the person handling the food directly or indirectly to not to wear any jewellery, strong odored perfume or deodorant, smoking, chewing while cooking and serving.
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Personal hygiene involves the frequency of washing hands, practice of washing hands after handling raw and cooked food, after handling non-veg and veg, after touching any part of the body or dirty utensils and most importantly after using the washroom, which we don’t follow. Hygiene also needs to be ensured and monitored for illness/ injury of the staff. FSSAI has put a strict rule that every employee, indirect or in partial contact with the food, must be tested for their physical, skin, eye, hepatitis B Vaccine, inoculated vaccines for enteric group of diseases (Typhoid Vaccine), once in a year by a registered medical practitioner certified through FORM D.
According to the FAO of the UN, the multiplication of bacterias such as Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni and Clostridium is dominant because of Poor Personal Hygiene. All these bacterias cause food poisoning and other enteric diseases.
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Customers have every right to notify about the poor grooming and personal hygiene of the staff to the manager of the establishment. What I don’t understand here is we tend to comment and ignore instead of coming forward and letting that particular establishment know about their poor personal hygiene standards. Unless we communicate with that person involved, it is going to be very difficult to notice any changes that you wish to see.
Until then, we will accept and continue to having food which was handled by an ungroomed or unhygienic person. Also, end suffering from more Food poisoning!
Yes, every hotel do follow a personal grooming and hygiene standards. What about the ethnic and Fast food restaurants (most of the time, we end up ordering from Swiggy). What about the Street food vendor and bulk food caterers? These days one don’t require a degree to start a food business, but none are aware of the proper grooming and hygiene standards.
“Watch how your co-workers handle food and consider it from a customer’s point of view. Would you want to eat at, or buy food from, the place you work?”. Remember, you have every right to ask them because it’s we who are the consumers and we who will be suffering later.