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When you are involved in any type of food production or preparation, there is going to be special rules regarding personal jewellery you have. It may be your employer asks you to remove it all completely, or may allow certain types of jewellery and not other types of jewellery.

What we are going to do now is have a look at why this is. Now, if you have got something like a watch on, then... Or a standard ring, then they can pose a risk in food production. Because underneath the ring, when you are wearing rings, yes you would wash your hands, but you would not necessarily sanitize right underneath the ring correctly. So, this can pose extra problems. That you might clean your hands, you then get contaminated from dirt that is under your ring, into your hand, and therefore it could pass onto the food. Things like watches, the same thing. You can wash your watch, you wash your hands, but again, dirt can get caught underneath it, and also within the main strap. So there is a potential risk there.

Now, if you have got just a plain band ring, it is not likely to come off. But, if it is a ring with stones in, it may be, that one of the stones from something like an engagement ring, could fall off during food production, and can then enter the food, and then, next thing it is going to be directly with the person eating that food. Also with sharper rings, you can have a problem that if you had a sharp ring on your hand and you have to wear gloves in food preparation, the ring itself could cut through the glove. Therefore, again, you have got the food potential risk of contamination.

So, one of the big problems with jewellery is bacterial build-up. So, if you have got, for example, a watch, you have got dead skin, you can get quite a large increase in bacteria there. Also, if you have got piercings, earrings, very easy can you get bacteria from inside the ear or the nose, can then be passed through onto the jewellery itself, and then potentially it can form a risk for the food. Or, indirectly you are transferring it across. So you may well touch your jewellery, and then you touch the food; so you are transferring that bacteria from the earring into the food.

Also, other things that can contaminate the food that you may have could be things like things in your hair, hair bands or any hair jewellery that you may well have. What you need to do with those is ensure that your hair is tied back, and also using of hairnets to actually keep everything within the hair net itself. This also stops loose hair getting into food and ensures that the food can be kept as clean as possible.

If you have watches, rings or necklaces, things like this, they all pose a risk of direct contamination of food or the product itself, or it could be, the fact that you can not clean them. So it is important when you are washing your hands to remove watches and rings and clean your hands thoroughly, and also follow all the workplace rules and regulations within your business to make sure that you follow them to avoid any risk that could be posed by jewellery getting into foodstuffs.