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July 31, 2009

Dear Friends:

We've all heard that washing your hands is one of the simplest steps to preventing illness. Well, nothing is truer in the restaurant industry, where employees touch dozens, if not hundreds, of consumers' food on a daily basis. This is why the Division of Hotels and Restaurants has joined the Food and Drug Administration to educate operators about proper handwashing techniques. It is estimated that proper handwashing could eliminate nearly half of all cases of foodborne illness.

The FDA has developed an "Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook" that covers topics such as foodborne illness, illness symptoms, restriction and exclusion of employees, handwashing information and more. We are now using this handbook to educate our safety and sanitation inspectors who work in the field with the restaurateurs and industry employees. They will share the knowledge they have with Florida’s food service operators.

There are more than 11 downloadable posters or guides online referencing handwashing, proper glove usage, foodborne illness and employee health. Division inspectors will continue to focus their inspections on the identified foodborne illness risk factors, which include handwashing and employee health, and will increase the educational aspect of these two items by emphasizing the link between the lack of proper handwashing and the incidence of illness.

We are thankful to join the Food and Drug Administration in our mission to keep the public safe. This is one more way we can help the restaurant industry ensure a safe dining experience.


Chuck Drago's Signature

Charles W. Drago

Department of Business and
Professional Regulation
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:

20 Seconds Poster


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