Hand-washing Stations and Food Safety Certification MN

Hand-washing Stations and Food Safety Certification MN

Image credit: Minnesota Department of Health

During food safety certification MN training, one of the first things you’ll learn is how to wash your hands, but what is often neglected after many of our students leave training is the enforcement of how to keep the area where you wash your hands stocked and clean. Whether it’s a hand sink near your workstation or the employee restroom, attention to detail must be a priority to ensure the good personal hygiene that will keep your food safe.

Food Safety Certification MN Guidelines for Hand Washing Stations

We know that you train your staff to properly wash their hands, but as a quick review let’s outline the health department’s hand washing guidelines:

  • Use as hot of water as you can stand
  • Use plenty of soap
  • Wash for 20 seconds
  • Dry with a paper towel
  • Use a paper towel to turn off water after washing


Hand washing should also be done often. Your staff should always wash their hands:

  • Before beginning their shift
  • After eating, smoking or using the restroom
  • After handling raw animal proteins
  • After changing food service gloves


The sanitary conditions of your hand washing areas should also be looked after regularly. At each hand washing station, including restrooms, you should make sure that there is plenty of soap and paper towels within easy reach. You also need a hand-washing instructional poster within view of each hand washing sink.


It is also very important to make sure that hot water is readily available at the tap. Often, especially in winter months, it may take a few minutes the first time the hot water is used in the morning for the temperature of the water to rise to appropriate levels. Make sure that all of your faucets have hot water flowing before you commence with your daily operations.


Sometimes when we visit restaurants and food preparation facilities, we have noticed that even the most immaculately cleaned outlets can fail to take care of customer-use bathrooms. Making sure that your customers have access to soap, paper towels and hot water is just as important to preventing the spread of illness as keeping your own hands clean. While guests at your business aren’t required to follow health department guidelines, it may also be a good procedure to have a hand washing poster in the customer restroom.


At Safe Food Training, we feel that it’s important to remind our clients that diligence is important when it comes to the basics of food safety. Do you have any tips on how you make sure that your staff remembers to focus on the simple and often overlooked aspects of keeping food safe?



For over 20 years Safe Food Training has been known as the # 1 provider of food manager certification in Minnesota. We offer both instructor lead and on-line food safety certification courses. Our instructor lead courses are regularly scheduled at several central Minnesota locations. If you have special training requirements, we can even customize ServSafe training for your group. Which ever option is best for you, we would be happy to serve your needs.

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