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Generally Accepted Food Service Practices

Food Protection

At all times, including while being stored, prepared, displayed, served, or transported, food shall be protected from potential contamination. The temperature of potentially hazardous foods shall be 45°F or below, or 140°F or above, at all times.

Food Storage

Food, whether raw or prepared, if removed from the container or package in which it was obtained, shall be in a clean, covered container except during necessary periods of preparation or service.

Food Preparation

Food shall be prepared with the least possible manual contact, with suitable utensils and on surfaces that prior to use have been cleaned, rinsed and sanitized to prevent cross-contamination.

Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Raw fruits and raw vegetables shall be thoroughly washed with potable water before being cooked or served.

Food Transportation

During transportation, food and food utensils shall be kept and packed in covered containers or completely wrapped or packaged so as to be protected from contamination.

Employee Health

No person, while affected with a disease in a communicable form that can be transmitted by foods or who is a carrier of organisms that cause such a disease or while afflicted with a boil, or infected wound, or an acute respiratory infection, shall work in a food service establishment.

Personal Cleanliness

Employees shall thoroughly wash their hands and the exposed portions of their arms with soap and warm water before starting work, during work as often as is necessary to keep them clean, and after smoking, eating, drinking, or using the toilet. Employees shall keep their fingernails clean and trimmed.


—The outer clothing of all employees shall be clean.

—Employees shall use effective hair restraints to prevent the contamination of food or food contact surfaces.

Employee Practices

—Employees may consume food only in designated dining areas.

—Employees shall not use tobacco in any form while engaged in food preparation or service, nor while in any utensil or equipment washing or food preparation areas.

—Employees shall handle soiled tableware in a way that avoids contamination of their hands.

—Employees shall maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness.

Manual Cleaning and Sanitizing

For manual washing, rinsing and sanitizing utensils and equipment, a sink with no fewer than three compartments shall be provided and used. Manual washing, rinsing, and sanitizing shall be conducted in the following sequence:

  1. Sinks shall be cleaned prior to use.

  2. Equipment and utensils shall be thoroughly washed in the first compartment with a hot detergent solution that is kept clean.

  3. Equipment and utensils shall be rinsed free of detergent and abrasives in clean water in the second compartment.

  4. Equipment and utensils shall be sanitized in the third compartment.


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