June 5, 2020

Proper Hand Washing for Kids and Teens

One of the most important tools in the fight against food poisoning is hand washing. Unfortunately, even adults are sometimes lax when it comes to washing hands properly. Kids, who are more susceptible to food borne illness, may need special lessons and prompting about this crucial hygiene issue. Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom, before preparing and serving food, while you are preparing food (especially after handling raw meats and eggs), before eating, and after playing with pets or taking out the trash. It's also important to tell kids to wash their hands frequently when they're sick, especially after they cough or sneeze. To properly wash hands, wet them under warm running water. Add some soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds. To time this, since "Happy … [Read more...]

In Norovirus Season, Remember Food Safety Begins With Clean Hands

During cold, flu and norovirus season it's important to remember that clean hands are essential when handling or preparing food. The University of Minnesota Extension Service (UMES) has these tips for hand washing for food preparation. These steps are important any time of the year, since clean hands can help prevent outbreaks from everything from hepatitis A to Salmonella and E. coli. Before you prepare or handle food, wash your hands in this way: wet your hands with warm running water, soap them, then, rub your palms and the back of your hands for at least twenty seconds, UMES recommends. "Do not forget your nails and the areas between your fingers. If you use hands to mix food, first wash them with a brush and get under your fingernails." When rinsing the soap from your hands, … [Read more...]

FDA Goes Sour on Antibacterial Soaps

The FDA is taking a closer look at antibacterial soaps. Their issue is with ingredients called triclosan and triclocarbon, chemicals that may act as hormone disruptors. And those ingredients don't have any proven health benefit; they don't kill any more bacteria than plain old soap and water. There is no evidence that over the counter antibacterial soaps are more effective at preventing illness than ordinary soap and water. Dr. Colleen Rogers, a lead microbiologist at the FDA said, "new data suggests that the risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits." The soaps may also contribute to the serious problem of antibiotic resistance. The government issued a proposed rule on December 13, 2013 that would require manufacturers to provide … [Read more...]

Handwashing Awareness Week Tip: Don’t Touch Your T Zone

Handwashing Awareness Week Ends tomorrow, but good handwashing practices shouldn't. Washing your hands  is the best defense against illness and especially important during the winter months which are peak flu and norovirus seasons. Dr. Will Sawyer, a solo family practice doctor, has created the Henry the Hand Foundation to raise awareness about the importance of good handwashing practices as a way to prevent infection. According to Sawyer, "there are four elements of "hand awareness" that can prevent illness: washing your hands before you eat, not coughing into your hand, not sneezing into your hands,  and refraining from touching the mucous membranes of your eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Wash you hands with warm water and soap fro 20 seconds, about as long as it takes to sing Happy … [Read more...]

Today is Global Handwashing Day

Today is Global Handwashing Day! One of the best ways to prevent foodborne illness and other diseases is to thoroughly wash your hands frequently. And correctly. Many people do not wash their hands correctly, which increases your odds for catching the flu, a cold, or a bacterial infection. In fact, 50% of flu cases and 60% of gastrointestinal illnesses in schools are spread by dirty hands. Hand washing with soap and water is more effective at removing bacteria and viruses than antibacterial liquid. Human feces are the main source of pathogens that cause diarrhea. One gram of human feces can hold 10 million viruses and one million bacteria. Using the toilet, changing a child's diaper, or cleaning the bathroom can deposit fecal materials onto your hands. Studies have shown that children … [Read more...]

Food Safety Myth: Just Running Water is Enough to Clean Hands

The Partnership for Food Safety Education held a webinar last week all about fighting myths about food safety and kids. We're running a series on those myths, since believing them can make you sick. The first myth is that just putting your hands under running water is enough to clean them before eating or preparing foods. Here's the truth: rubbing hands with soap and water is the way to go. Make sure to scrub thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.. A recent study found that the most frequently missed areas are the fingernails, the backs of your hands, the thumbs, and the area between the fingers. Dirty hands spread infections. In fact, infections spread by unclean hands account for 50% of respiratory illnesses and 60% of gastrointestinal illnesses every school year. Other problems in … [Read more...]

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