WRA—Popular Topics

Hand Washing

Handwashing Signs Available from WRA

Handwashing is the most effective means of preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses and can prevent contamination of food, utensils and equipment. Training is key! Don’t assume that your employees know the proper way to wash their hands.

To encourage employees to properly wash their hands, WRA created several new handwashing posters.

For more choices, visit Members Only

Here are a few options that you can download for free:

Chef Washing


  • Remove any jewelry and then wet hands with warm water. 
  • Using soap, not a hand sanitizer solution, work up a soapy lather that covers hands and forearms. 
  • Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to wash palms, back of hands, between fingers and up the forearms. 
  • Use a fingernail brush to clean under fingernails and between fingers. 
  • Rinse hands and forearms in warm water. 
  • Dry hands with single-use paper towels. Turn off the faucet with wrist/forearms or with paper towels to prevent re-contamination of hands. 

Remind your employees that they need to be vigilant about handwashing. Wisconsin’s Food Code (based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Code) outlines when food workers must wash their hands.

Chef washing hands


  • Before starting to work with food, utensils or equipment 
  • Before putting on gloves 
  • During food preparation, as often as needed, and when changing task 
  • When switching between raw foods and ready-to-eat foods 
  • After handling soiled utensils and equipment 
  • After coughing, sneezing or using a tissue 
  • After eating, drinking or using tobacco products 
  • After touching your skin, face or hair 
  • After handling service animals, fish in aquariums, molluscan shellfish or crustacea in display tanks 
  • After using the toilet (wash hands at a handwash sink in the restroom, and again when returning to work area)

Additional information from the Food and Drug Administration- The FDA’s “Oral Culture Learner Project” provides material and methods to help food employees understand why following proper food safety practices is important to prevent illnesses, deaths and loss of income and reputation resulting from food-related outbreaks. Click here to access materials which include posters and videos.