You may have heard this before, but money is a dirty thing!
To control infections and keep your customers free from hygiene risks, knowing how to handle money—especially in a food environment—is important to maintaining high standards of cleanliness. Think about it for a second. You take all the time to clean your premises, then before passing the food to your customer, you touch money.
Money is widely considered one of the dirtiest things we encounter each day. It has changed hands from person to person and is not always stored in a wallet. Money comes into contact with all kinds of germs and bacteria, perhaps even travelling the world.
The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center conducted a study on what money contains from money taken from a sporting event and a grocery store. They found that five bills contained bacteria that caused infections and flu, and 59 bills contained bacteria that would cause serious illness with weakened immune systems.
When engaging with customers, it is wise to be mindful of the fact that you are handling money and that this money is contaminating your hands.
- Always keep the two jobs separate: people who pack the food and those who handle the money at the front end of your store. Otherwise, food will be touched by contaminated hands, and illness will occur.
- In an environment where money and food handling take place (street vendors, delicatessens), gloves should be worn to handle money then removed and the vendor’s hands washed before serving any food items.
- Hand sanitizers can be kept at the front of your store, clinic, or facility if money is exchanging hands there often. Encourage your staff to disinfect their hands regularly, especially if they are engaging with customers, shaking hands, and having direct contact.
When your staff takes the time to wash their hands regularly, they are saving your customers from exposure to more than 3,000 types of bacteria that stick to paper and coin money. Hand washing is therefore the number one line of defense that you have for money handling.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap, and lather for at least 20 seconds. Do not forget to focus on the back of your hands, between your fingers, and your nails. Rinse and repeat if you want to be sure. Then dry.
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