What Jewelry Can Food Handlers Wear While Working?

Food handlers play a vital role in safeguarding public health by preventing foodborne illnesses.One key aspect of maintaining food safety is the careful consideration of the jewelry worn while working.Understanding the guidelines for permissible jewelry and the reasons behind these restrictions is essential for food handlers to ensure the safety and well being of consumers.

1. Importance of Food Safety for Food Handlers

  • Food handlers prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses
  • Prioritizing food safety protects the general public
  • Adhering to guidelines ensures safe food handling
  • Proper hygiene practices are essential for public health
  • Food safety training is crucial for preventing contamination

 Reasons Behind Restrictions on Jewelry for Food Handlers

There are two primary reasons why food handlers are not allowed to wear excessive jewelry while working:

Bacteria can be present in jewelry:

Even if jewelry appears clean, it can harbor dangerous bacteria in its crevices and settings.This is particularly true for rings, bracelets, and jewelry with gemstones.If a food handler wears jewelry, they risk introducing these bacteria into the food they are preparing or serving.

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Wearing jewelry may put you in danger: 

Jewelry can become entangled in food processing machinery or even in the food itself, posing a serious choking hazard to customers.This risk is especially high with necklaces, chains and dangling earrings.

 Permitted Jewelry for Food Handlers

The only type of jewelry that food handlers are generally allowed to wear while working is a simple wedding band.The band must be polished and free of any stones or decorations.This is because plain wedding rings are less likely to harbor bacteria and present a health risk compared to other types of jewelry.


It’s important to note that some restaurants may have additional rules regarding jewelry for food handlers.For example, some establishments may prohibit food handlers from wearing any jewelry, even a plain wedding band, on their hands and wrists.Be sure to check with your employer about their specific policies regarding jewelry in the workplace.

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Maintaining Food Safety While Wearing Jewelry

If you are permitted to wear a simple wedding band while handling food, there are several steps you can take to ensure food safety:

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands, especially before and after handling food.
  • Wear gloves when handling food, particularly ready to eat items.
  • Remove your ring before putting on gloves or washing your hands.
  • Regularly inspect your ring for any damage and cracks, as wearing a damaged ring while working is not recommended.

Jewelry Restrictions and Considerations

Food handlers should avoid wearing the following types of jewelry while working:

  • Necklaces: These can become contaminated and fall into the food, potentially causing choking hazards for customers.Long necklaces can also get tangled in machinery.
  • Chains: Like necklaces, chains can become contaminated and pose a risk of getting caught in equipment.
  • Timepieces: Watches can harbor bacteria if they are misplaced or broken in food.
  • Wristbands for Medical Alerts: Although these are essential for those with medical conditions, they can still harbor bacteria and present a health risk if misplaced or broken in food.

Training and Education for Food Safety

All food handlers must receive comprehensive food safety training.This training covers proper handling, preparation, and serving techniques, as well as the risks of foodborne illness and how to prevent it.

By educating food handlers on the importance of food safety, they can better understand the reasons behind the restrictions on jewelry and other personal items while working.

Accommodations for Special Circumstances

In some cases, food handlers with disabilities may need to wear jewelry or other medical devices that could potentially compromise food safety.If you find yourself in this situation, it is crucial to discuss your needs with your employer.

They may be able to provide you with a medical device or alternative jewelry that is less likely to endanger food safety while still meeting your requirements.


What jewelry can be worn by a food handler?

Food handlers are generally only allowed to wear a plain wedding band while working.

Can a food handler wear a bracelet?

Food handlers should not wear bracelets while working, as they can harbor bacteria and pose a choking hazard if they fall into food

What piece of jewelry can you wear while working?

The only piece of jewelry a food handler can wear while working is a simple, polished wedding band without stones or decorations.

What can a food handler wear?

A food handler can wear a simple, polished wedding band without stones or decorations while working.

Final Thought

As a food handler, it is your responsibility to prioritize food safety in every aspect of your work. This includes wearing minimal jewelry, preferably a simple wedding band and following strict food safety guidelines. 

By adhering to these rules and regulations, you can help prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses and ensure the safety of the food you handle.Remember, food safety is a shared responsibility and everyone, including food handlers and consumers, has a role to play in maintaining high standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

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