Wash your hands before handling food

Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent germs from spreading to your food.

When to wash your hands

You should wash your hands after:

  • handling raw meat and poultry (like chicken)
  • going to the toilet or changing nappies
  • touching pets or animals
  • gardening
  • other activities that make your hands dirty.

How to wash your hands

  1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds using warm running water and soap.
  2. Clean under each fingernail using soap and a nail brush.
  3. Dry your hands for 20 seconds using a clean dry towel or paper towel.

Find out more

How to wash your hands information card [PDF, 226 KB]

Hand washing – Ministry of Health

Other food safety tips

Who to contact

If you have questions about food safety at home, email info@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: