Personal hygiene

Hygiene practices at food premises are particularly important. Appropriate food handling as well as good personal hygiene decreases the risk of food contamination with harmful microbes.

At food premises the following is forbidden for personnel handling food:

  • Smoking
  • Sneezing or blowing one’s nose while preparing food
  • Touching one’s hair while working with food
  • Tasting food without appropriate instruments
  • Handling food without appropriate instruments
  • Wearing nail polish or artificial nails while handling unpacked perishable foods  (allowed when using protective claws)
  • Wearing piercing or other jewellery not covered by clothing
  • Wearing rings, watches or wrist bracelets
  • Working with unprotected septic wound
  • Working without proper protecting clothing


Employees handling unpacked perishable foods are obliged to go through a medical examination upon their employment. If an employee who handles unpacked perishable foodstuffs at work has travelled abroad outside Nordic countries for over 4 days, a stool sample should be taken.

Special clothing is necessary for those who handle unpacked perishable food. This over-clothing needs to be clean and of colour which will easily allow to assess the cleanliness. Special clothing also includes footwear that shall be used only indoors. The over-clothing should be used only on food premises and not on the way to work. Head covering is also recommended for employees who handle unpacked foods, except those who only serve waiting tables.