October 22, 2016

Most Consumers Don’t Wash Their Hands Correctly

A study published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that only 5% of consumers wash their hands correctly. Scientists trained 12 college students in the field of data collection. They then observed 3,749 people washing their hands in public toilets. The observers found that 15% of the men and 7% of women didn't wash their hands at all. Only 50% of men and 78% of women used soap. People were less likely to wash their hands if the sink looked dirty, and more likely if a sign telling people that hand washing is a good idea was hanging above the sink. And for some reason, more people wash their hands during the day than at night. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that hand washing is crucial to avoid spreading foodborne illness and other infections. If … [Read more...]

When Food Poisoning and Picnics Go Hand in Hand

Touching foods with hands that aren’t clean is a major source of foodborne illness. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) all have information about preventing illness with handwashing. Here’s what they recommend. If you are planing a picnic at a park, find out ahead of time if there is a source of clean running water. If not, bring jugs of water, soap and clean cloths or paper towels. Moistened towelettes and hand sanitizers are another option. They will reduce, but not eliminate all types of germs. Making food means washing your hands a lot. You need to wash before, during and after food preparation to reduce the risk of transmitting illness. The best way to wash hands is with soap and … [Read more...]

Hand Hygiene Day Isn’t Just For Health Workers

The Word Health Organization (WHO) has declared May 5 Hand Hygiene as a way to encourage health workers to practice good hand hygiene. Health care associated infections affect hundreds of millions of people every year. And most of theses infections could be prevented by better handwashing practices.  Poor employee hygiene is also a contributing factor in food poisoning outbreaks associated with restaurants. In health care settings, the most common infections include urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, pneumonia and infections of the bloodstream. Seven out of every 100 people hospitalized in developed countries and 10 out of every 100 patients hospitalized in developing nations acquire health care-associated infections, according to WHO.  "Among critically ill and … [Read more...]

Money in Your Wallet is “Dirtier” Than a Public Toilet Seat, Expert Says

Dr. Ron Cutler, a biomedical scientist in London specializing in infectious diseases and their control and treatment, has run studies at Queen Mary - University of London, proving that such things as restaurant high chairs and your car's steering wheel are likely to have more germs than a public toilet seat. Now he's examined 200 bills of currency (British bank notes) and 45 credit cards and discovered that 26 per cent of the notes and 47 per cent of the cards had high levels of bacteria. In other words, money and credit cards are dirtier than a toilet seat. Gross. But it's Cutler's way of emphasizing the importance of hand hygiene to prevent the spread of infection. He found E.coli on some of the notes in his latest study, together with Staphylococcus aureus which is often … [Read more...]

Duke University Gets a Lesson in Handwashing Thanks to Norovirus

Students and faculty at Duke University are getting a lesson in the importance of thorough hand washing as a result of several suspected norovirus infections on campus in the past week. Dr. George Jackson, co-director of Employee Occupational Health and Wellness, was quoted in Duke Today as saying, "All students, faculty and staff are advised to practice effective hand hygiene to limit the spread of the virus. The best way to prevent infection is by washing hands with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may not be effective against noroviruses." The advisory is in contrast to a campaign by university housekeeping directors to encourage the use of instant hand sanitizers to save water. The North Carolina Division of Public Health recently issued … [Read more...]

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