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Food Handling Sanitation

The Jefferson County Health Department regularly performs inspections and permitting of all food service establishments and retail food stores to ensure proper sanitation procedures. Here are some special reminders for food workers.

Wait Staff

Gloves or other utensils must be used for handling all ready-to-eat foods, even if you’re buttering toast.
You may be responsible for checking the holding temperatures on the buffet or salad bar.
Customers may ask you questions about how the food was prepared.


Dirty dishes need to stay away from all clean food preparation areas and food.
After clearing tables, you must wash your hands before you begin another activity.


The sinks and your hands might be contaminated. Be sure to wash your hands before you begin.
Change the wash water often to better clean the dishes.
Routinely measure the sanitizer solution with appropriate test strips.
If you use a mechanical dishwasher, you must know how to use it and how to check that it’s sanitized properly.
Be sure to read and follow the directions on chemical labels.


Bare hand contact is not permitted even if it’s just squeezing a lemon into a drink. Prepare garnishes like lemon twists and sliced fruits with gloves in advance rather than preparing them bare handed for each drink.
Be sure to use an ice scoop rather than handling the ice with your hands.

Grocery Clerks

Cross contamination can happen while you’re bagging groceries. Bag meats separately and clean up meat spills with a sanitizer.

You will likely handle unwrapped produce. Be sure to wash your hands often throughout the day.
Be sure potentially hazardous foods that are left at your aisle are returned to proper temperature control immediately or discarded.

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