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Code of practice for food handler activities

by Trevor A. Smith, R. P. Kanas, I. A. McCoubrey, M. E. Belton
Occupational Medicine ()
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BACKGROUND: The food industry regulates various aspects of food handler activities, according to legislation and customer expectations. The purpose of this paper is to provide a code of practice which delineates a set of working standards for food handler hygiene, handwashing, use of protective equipment, wearing of jewellery and body piercing. METHODS: The code was developed by a working group of occupational physicians with expertise in both food manufacturing and retail, using a risk assessment approach. Views were also obtained from other occupational physicians working within the food industry and the relevant regulatory bodies. The final version of the code (available in full as Supplementary data in Occupational Medicine Online) therefore represents a broad consensus of opinion. CONCLUSION: The code of practice represents a set of minimum standards for food handler suitability and activities, based on a practical assessment of risk, for application in food businesses. It aims to provide useful working advice to food businesses of all sizes.

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