Worker Health and Hygiene

manurePeople can carry pathogens in and on their bodies and clothes, and those pathogens can easily be transmitted to fruits and vegetables.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce this risk is for everyone who works around produce to practice good hygiene. Good hygiene includes properly washing hands at appropriate times, wearing clean clothing, and in some cases wearing special clothing like disposable gloves or hairnets.

Another practice that effectively reduces the spread of disease is to be sure that anyone handling or working near produce is not sick with a pathogen that could cause a foodborne illness. Farm owners and managers reduce risks by developing health and hygiene policies, supplying and maintaining toilet and hand-washing facilities, explaining the rules to everyone who works with produce, and setting a good example for everyone by following those rules themselves.

Use the resources below to learn about proper hygiene, symptoms of foodborne illness, and appropriate toilet and hand-washing facilities. Find resources to help train workers, and download or order signs that remind people to wash their hands and follow other proper hygiene practices.​