Imagine if you had glitter on your hands, how sparkly would everything you touch be?
Now imagine you have traces of flour or nuts on your hands…..
For the food service industry, there is a lot of focus on cross contamination, especially in the kitchen, but how dangerous could our hands be?
Picture a day in the life of a waitress/front of house. How many things do you touch that could potentially be a source of contamination?
- First of all you may welcome and seat a customer.
- You take their order.
- You serve them.
- Give them their bill and take payment.
- You may stock shelves.
Just carrying out these 5 tasks the number of items that you and the customer both touch is considerable.
In welcoming a customer, you may take their coat, shake their hand, move a chair for them and hand over the menu.
Once you have taken their order, they need cutlery and serviettes, possibly a sauce caddy and children may be given activity sets.
What do you touch when you serve them? Their drinks, maybe a bottle of water and their dishes. A bread basket and butter dish, salt and pepper mills. Now it is time to look at a desert menu and bring after dinner chocolates and coffee with a milk jug and sugar bowl.
Its time to pay, you pass the bill, take their credit card, offer them a pen to sign or a card machine and then give them a receipt.
Maybe there is an element of self service. A customer picks up a tray, selects their food and drink from a shelf or counter, uses serving tongs.
Just think, each of the items you touch, so do they, so how much glitter would the customer have been exposed to?
The importance of preventing cross contamination is as important front of house, as it is back of house, and one of the main sources are your own hands and what can be invisibly passed to the customer on them. So please be aware and wash with care.