Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Improper hand-washing is the #1 cause of cross-contamination.
Whether you are concerned about getting the flu this winter or want to avoid spreading harmful bacteria when working with food in the kitchen, it’s important to wash your hands properly and often.
Wash and dry your hands properly
- Wet your hands under warm running water and apply soap.
- Scrub your hands, forearms and between your fingers for 20 seconds, or about the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song. Use a nail brush to scrub under your fingernails.
- Rinse off the soapy water.
- Leave the water running while you dry your hands with a paper towel.
- Turn the water off using the paper towel in your hand.
Other ways to protect your hands and surfaces
- Make sure all cuts on your hands and fingers are bandaged.
- Secure bandages by wearing a glove but be just as aware of what your gloved hand touches to prevent cross-contamination.
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Date Last Reviewed: October 4, 2018
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Mike McCombe; Chef, Certified Food Safety Educator