An inexpensive handwashing station

Field harvest season is getting underway and pick-your-own operations are just starting to open for the season, and food safety is at the forefront of many growers’ minds.

Michele Schermann and Jill Randerson's hand washing station, built for under $20

Michele Schermann and Jill Randerson’s hand washing station, built for under $20

Hand washing is a key component of a food safety plan for vegetable and fruit growers. Field hand-washing stations are a good idea where workers or pick-your-own customers are harvesting or packing produce in fields that aren’t near facilities. The ability to wash sticky hands before and after picking is also attractive to pickers in pick-your-own operations – many PYO operations prominently advertise that they have hand-washing facilities. While it is possible to rent or purchase mobile wash-stations, Ann Hamilton, UNH Extension Field Specialist in Food Safety recently showed me a hand-made and inexpensive station that appealed to my crafty and thrifty sides.

Ann made her wash-station using plans published by the University of Minnesota, which are easy to follow. These plans are descriptively titled “How to build a field hand washing station in 10 easy steps for under $20”, and for those that would rather watch a Youtube video, that option is available by clicking here.

This design is just a starting point, and could be customized to be more elegant or suite your specific needs – but it is a helpful reminder that a portable hand-washing station does not need to break the bank!

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