Mobile Snack Bars and Food Stalls

Personal hygiene

As a person employed in a food-processing business, you are obliged to meet and maintain a high level of hygiene. Information on this topic is provided here.

A high level of personal cleanliness is a prerequisite for all persons working with food. This includes regular washing and showering.


Many millions of microorganisms accumulate on hands, under fingernails and under rings. The more microorganisms, the higher the probability that pathogens will be present and transferred to foodstuffs on contact. It is therefore important that you adopt good hand hygiene practices.

Observe the following points:

Washing and disinfecting hands

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Wash and disinfect your hands (click here to download instructions):

  • Before starting work
  • After completing any cleaning work and disposing of waste
  • After touching dirty objects
  • After any breaks (e.g. smoking breaks)
  • After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing into your hands
  • When switching to another activity
  • After going to the toilet
  • After handling raw poultry, meat, eggs, fish or food of plant origin.

Only use suitable products for cleaning and disinfecting your hands, and adhere to the application times specified by the manufacturer (usually 30 seconds).
Only use disposable towels, e.g. paper towels, for drying your hands.

Cuts and wounds

Cover any small cuts and wounds with a coloured plaster and a finger cot or disposable glove. This prevents any transfer of the wound bacteria to the foodstuffs.

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Jewellery and wristwatches

When handling food, you should not wear jewellery or wristwatches. This includes wedding rings and bracelets. Put them in a safe place before starting work.
If you wear jewellery, it is not possible to clean and disinfect your hands properly, so there is a risk of contamination.


Fingernails and artificial nails

Keep your fingernails short and clean, do not wear nail varnish or artificial nails. As dirt can accumulate more easily under long fingernails than under short ones, long fingernails are not suitable. Nail varnish and artificial fingernails may chip. Contamination such as this is difficult to detect.



Before going to the toilet, hang any aprons and other easily removable work wear on the specially provided hooks. Close the lid of the toilet before flushing it, to prevent any contamination from spray. Then thoroughly wash and disinfect your hands, and only use disposable towels to dry your hands. Unwashed hands may spread faecal bacteria to any surfaces, equipment and products touched.

You should not wear any street clothing or outdoor footwear in the food preparation rooms and at the service counters. The work and protective clothing must always be kept clean, and be regularly changed and washed (boil wash). If you are responsible for washing your own work clothing, you should follow the establishment's instructions. Care should also be taken to transport freshly washed work and protective clothing in a hygienic and safe way. Alternatively, an external firm may be contracted to wash the clothing.

Kleidung Sauber

Do not wipe dirty hands on your work clothing.

Do not wear any visible jewellery if you are working with food. It is recommended that wedding rings are also removed.


Visible piercings, such as nose rings, can be covered with a suitable plaster or must be removed for the duration of your working hours.

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If you wear jewellery, it is not possible to clean and disinfect your hands properly, so there is a risk of contamination. There is also a risk of jewellery breaking or coming off, and becoming a foreign body hazard in the food.

The ban on smoking in areas in which food is handled must be observed. Only take your meals and drinks in the staff rooms or social rooms.
Only smoke in the specially designated rooms, and then wash and disinfect your hands before resuming your activities.

Essen Rauchverbot

Do not sneeze or cough over food. Do not place any ornamental plants in areas in which food is handled. It is prohibited to have pets in food-processing businesses.

Husten Pflanzen Pfote

Avoid wearing heavy make-up if you are working with food, as cosmetics may also be a contamination hazard.

Every food business operator is required to ensure that all their employees who handle food are adequately trained.

The requisite training is generally divided into 3 areas:

Training is intended to ensure that all employees in the establishment have sufficient knowledge and awareness of the topic of hygiene. In addition to instructions on handling new machines, for example, or the correct way to clean it is important for you all to have the same level of knowledge, as this translates into good hygienic practices.

Apart from giving practical benefits, courses on hygiene and training under the German Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (IfSG) are mandatory.

When producing, processing or selling perishable foods, employees need to attend additional training so that they acquire the necessary specialist knowledge, for example special hygiene requirements or rules for the processing of perishable food.

In your role as responsible person within your business, it is recommended that you monitor the implementation of the training content in your business. In this way, you can ensure that the content has been understood. For example, watch how your employees handle cleaning materials, etc. Training only makes sense if the content is understood and put into practice.

Training is generally divided into:

All employees in establishments that handle food or may come in contact with food have to be given training.

  • Refresher training in accordance with the German Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (IfSG) must be provided and documented when new employees join the business and every two years thereafter. Initial training under the IfSG has to be carried out by the health authorities or by duly authorised doctors.
  • Hygiene training, on the other hand, has to be given at least once a year and documented.
  • It is recommended that new employees attend training on hygiene as soon as possible after joining your company. Training on hygiene and under the German Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (IfSG) can be carried out jointly.
    Employees must attend training on handling perishable food before they produce, process or place it on the market.
  • The initial training in accordance with the German Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (IfSG) has to be given by the health authorities or authorised doctors, at the earliest 3 months before starting work. All employees must have received the corresponding certificate before their first day of work. The refresher training has to be carried out by the person responsible in your business.
  • Hygiene training and the in-house auto-control system should be carried out by the person responsible in your company.
  • Expertise in handling perishable foods can be acquired through appropriate training in the relevant field. Furthermore, there are special training courses. Here you can find a training in your area in the information system about advanced WIS, provided by the IHK organization.

Hygiene training courses are intended to ensure that you keep familiarising your employees with the fundamental rules, so that good hygienic practices are observed at the workplace. A basic component of hygiene training is personal hygiene. Further components include hygiene at the workplace and production hygiene, and the in-house auto-control system.

In accordance with the German Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases - IfSG, you must be familiar with the obligation to notify the authorities of the following infections and the corresponding prohibition from food-service activities and employment:

  • Typhoid and paratyphoid fever
  • Cholera
  • Shigellosis
  • Salmonellosis
  • Infectious gastroenteritis
  • Hepatitis A or E virus
  • Infected wounds or open sores from skin diseases

The following symptoms may indicate such infections and must therefore be reported:

  • Diarrhoea, possibly including nausea, vomiting, fever or abdominal cramps → suspected bacterial or viral food poisoning
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea → suspected gastroenteritis
  • High fever with severe abdominal or joint pains, with diarrhoea following after several days of constipation → suspected typhoid or paratyphoid fever
  • Diarrhoea with major fluid loss → suspected cholera
  • Yellowing of the eyes and/or skin with weakness and loss of appetite → suspected Hepatitis A or E

NB: If you visit the doctor due to illness, you must inform them that you work in a food business.

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