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.​



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Food Safety Begins on the Farm A Grower Self Assessment of Food Safety RisksLinkCornell University
Farm Food Safety Decision Tree ProjectLinkCornell
Kansas State Food-A-Syst: A Food Safety Risk Management Guide for the ProducerLinkKansas State University
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FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook LinkFDA
Food Safety Hazards in Foodservice and Food Retail Establishments. Personal hygiene, temperature controls, etc.,pdfPurdue University
Hand Hygiene and Hand SanitizerspdfUniversity of Florida
Farm Worker Health and HygienepdfCornell University
Hand and Dish washing information sheetpdfIndiana State Department of Health
How to build a field hand washing station in 10 easy steps for under $20pdfUniversity of Minnesota Agricultural Health and Safety Program
Handwashing and Drying Procedures For Food Employees pdfIndiana Department of Health
How to Handwash?pdfWorld Health Organization
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NSF Product and Service ListingsLinkNational Sanitation Foundation