Here’s a startling thought: on average, we touch about 300 surfaces every half hour.

That means we’re exposed to roughly 840,000 germs every 30 minutes – the time it takes to eat a meal.  With many patrons visiting restaurants each night and multiple people involved in preparing and serving food, minimizing the spread of those germs is especially important. In honor of National Food Safety Month throughout September, here are three key tips for promoting hand hygiene and encouraging server cleanliness:

1.    Wash: Hand washing seems pretty basic, but one in three people don’t think washing their hands is important. Take the opportunity to remind employees that proper hand washing can significantly reduce foodborne illness transmission; encourage them to frequently lather up with warm water and soap.
2.    Dry: A simple upgrade, like installing touchless paper towel dispensers in restrooms, can help reduce the risk of cross-contamination among servers and patrons.
3.    Wipe: Germs stay alive for up to 48 hours on inanimate surfaces like counters and doorknobs, so be sure to keep them clean by regularly cleaning them with sanitizing wipes – and work on those hard-to-reach areas like kitchen equipment while you’re at it.

As a sponsor of National Food Safety Month and a strong supporter of hygiene education Tork is helping to provide materials and course development for five core educational sessions to make restaurant dining safer. The free programs include:

Week 1: The Big 8 and Cross-Contact
Week 2: Reading Labels
Week 3: Cross-Contact: Front of the House
Week 4: Purchasing and Transportation
Week 5: Separation in Equipment and Storage

Through these online training programs, restaurant and business owners, as well as their employees, will learn the basic information required to ensure everyone takes the steps necessary to keep customers safe.

To become more aware of hand hygiene, check out the resources available on the National Food Safety Month website. And to help save paper, watch this video on how to thoroughly dry your hands with one paper towel.