Are You A Finger Licker?
Food may be "finger-lickin" good, but finger-licking isnt good for food. Do not even "spoon taste" unless you use a clean spoon, and use it only once. The cook is the most important defender of food safety.
Unclean kitchen facilities, improper personal hygiene, or careless handling of food by the cook may carry bacteria that can infect food.
Remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water. Do not forget the areas between the fingers and under the fingernails. If you use your hands to mix food, clean under your nails with a brush.
Do not wear rings or other jewelry when you prepare food since food particles may be stuck in the crevices and corners. If you have pimples, boils, infected cuts or burns on your hands, use disposable plastic gloves to prevent the spread of infection.
Keep clean hands away from your mouth, nose and hair. Stifle sneezes and coughs with a clean facial tissue and wash your hands again. When you go to the bathroom, always wash your hands before touching food again. When you have a cold or flu, try to stay out of the kitchen if you can. But if you still have to handle food, be especially careful about handwashing and use utensils instead of hands to touch food.
Always wash your hands after touching garbage, poisons, cleaning supplies or anything that soils your hands. This rule also applies to any contact with pets, their dishes or bedding.
And, even if your kitchen is "clean enough to eat off the floor", dont pick up spilled food from the floor and eat it or mix it with uncontaminated food. A dilute solution of household bleach is a great sanitation for counters, tools and hands. Use 1 tablespoon bleach in a gallon of water.
Correct any bad habits, and learn to practice good personal hygiene when cooking.
Source: University of Minnesota Extension Service, InfoU Script #755, Are You A Finger Licker?