Food Service Operations

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) – Based

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Using Suitable Utensils When Handling Ready-to-Eat Foods

(Sample SOP)

PURPOSE: To prevent foodborne illness due to hand-to-food cross contamination.

SCOPE: This procedure applies to foodservice employees who prepare, handle or serve food.

KEYWORDS: Ready-to-Eat Food, Cross-Contamination


1. Train foodservice employees on using the procedures in this Standard Operating Procedure.

2. Follow state or local health department requirements.

3. Use proper hand washing procedures to wash hands and exposed arms prior to preparing or handling food or at any time when the hands may have become contaminated.

4. Do not use bare hands to handle ready-to-eat foods at any time unless washing fruits and vegetables.

5. Use suitable utensils when working with ready-to-eat food. Suitable utensils may include:

• Single-use gloves.

• Deli tissue.

• Foil wrap.

• Tongs, spoodles, spoons and spatulas.

6. Wash hands and change gloves:

• Before beginning food preparation.

• Before beginning a new task.

• After touching equipment such as refrigerator doors or utensils that have not been cleaned and sanitized.

• After contacting chemicals.

• When interruptions in food preparation occur, such as when answering the telephone or checking in a delivery.

• When handling money.

• Anytime a glove is torn, damaged or soiled.

• Anytime contamination of a glove might have occurred.


A designated foodservice employee will visually observe that gloves or suitable utensils are used and changed at the appropriate times during all hours of operation.


1. Retrain any foodservice employee found not following the procedures in this Standard Operating Procedure.

2. Discard ready-to-eat food touched with bare hands.


The foodservice manager will verify that foodservice workers are using suitable utensils by visually monitoring foodservice employees during all hours of operation. The foodservice manager will complete the Food Safety Checklist daily. The designated foodservice employee responsible for monitoring will record any discarded food on the Damaged and Discarded Product Log. The Food Safety Checklist and Damaged and Discarded Food Log are kept on file for a minimum of one year.