Hand Sinks

Hand sinks are a requirement for any foodservice facility, no matter how large or small. Forty percent of foodborne illnesses are caused by poor hand washing practices according to the FDA.

How many hand washing sinks does your facility need? It depends. Every facility is different. In general, hand sinks should be placed for easy access by staff. Your local health department requires them in any areas used for food prep, food service, or dishwashing. Each of these areas should have its own hand washing sink with easy access. Hand sinks are also required in restrooms or right next to them. They cannot be obstructed in any way or used for any purpose besides hand washing. The hand washing sink is only one part of a hand washing station.

Hand Washing Station Requirements

Hot and cold running water – The water should be potable water. Hot water must reach at least 100°F.
Soap and soap dispenser – Soap should be well stocked.
A way to dry hands – Either paper towels with a dispenser or a hand dryer using warm air or high velocity room-temperature air.
Garbage container – Required if paper towels are used.
Signage – The signage must be clearly visible. It must tell staff to wash hands before returning to work. It must be in all languages used by staff in the facility.

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