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Hand Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Food Safety Blog

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Is Ebola the “Bat-out-of Hell” and will we learn something from this experience?

Ebola outbreak

My esteemed blogging colleagues have written much on the subject of the most recent and deadly Ebola outbreak(s).  That's right; we now have the outbreak of two Ebola strains to be concerned about, one in Zaire and the other in the DR Congo.  Certainly unprecedented in modern times, if not for its scope, but for the shear terrifying manner in which the virus does its dirty deed.  Researchers say that the Zaire outbreak started when a fruit bat bit a 2-year old child and within a week both toddler and mother were dead.  Fruit bats live in colonies around the world of sometimes thousands or even millions strong.  This reminds me of the ‘super-herds’ represented by our large cities. In this case the butterfly effect so talked and written about has turned into a bat wing!

The Dermatitis Detective: Tracking the causes of dermatitis in your workplace

hand hygiene

Researchers at the University of Michigan made public the results of an unusual study involving hand washing. When students washed their hands after making a choice (decision), they appeared to experience less indecision (question their choice) than fellow students who did not wash their hands after making a decision. In short, "washing your hands" of the matter apparently makes you feel better about your choices.

Clean soap dispensers are good for business

dispenser in use

It should come as no surprise that restaurant patrons, industrial employees, and students all may view a restroom experience as an overall indicator of a facility’s level of excellence.

Nano-sized titanium dioxide in sunscreens - friend or foe?

sun protection

Exposure of the skin to the sun has always been a concern in all civilizations, and this from the earliest age; the related skin damages ranging from burns to cancers. For ancient Greeks and Egyptians, zinc oxide, olive oil and various plant extracts (i.e. jasmine) were used to prevent skin dryness and to reduce the risk of skin burns. Shea butter and clay are still traditionally used in Africa for the same purpose.

DebMed Champions Expert Panel Hand Hygiene Guidance

hand washing DebMed

The updated expert hand hygiene guidance that appeared in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of Infection Control couldn’t have arrived at better time. Those of us who manage and advise healthcare facilities on infection prevention and control live and work in challenging times. Just consider the news. 

Are You Being Greenwashed? The ins and outs of green labeling on products

Green bio eco natural 114165281

We’ve all seen them. The ads that feature a picture of a forest and the vague terms “ozone safe.” The bottle of cleaner that is labeled “eco-friendly.” The claim of “biodegradable” without clarifying whether that refers to the product or the packaging.

Clean Hands. Contaminated Clothing.

Bacteria on Clothes

In his white lab coat and favorite striped tie, the hospital physician looked like the epitome of the consummate, caring professional. Moreover, he had just meticulously scrubbed his hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer before approaching his bedridden patient. Bending over to examine her, his tie fell loose, and he deftly tucked it back into his coat. At that moment, his hands went from clean to contaminated.

The Dirt on Air-Travel : Bacteria On Plane Surfaces

the dirt on air-travel

Air-travel can be a trying and nerve-wrecking experience for most. Thoughts run through our minds like - Will my flight be delayed? Will my baggage arrive? Who will I sit beside? But let's consider something you may have not thought about, another reason that air-travel might pose risks to our health – aside from just your nerves. You might be carrying something off the plane – other than your carry-on. Something you certainly didn’t want or expect after your business trip or family vacation.

Handwashing, Soap and Gloves: Food Safety in your Restaurant

gloves in food industry

There are about a million different kinds of hand soap available on the market. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I say that with a point in mind. There are a lot of hand-cleaning options available, and they still might not be the best choice in preventing the spread of germs and bacteria in your restaurant. This might come as a bit of a surprise considering how often we write about handwashing as the top way to prevent the spread of germs and reduce cross-contamination. I still stand by that, but with asterisks

What Happens When Our Skin Fails Us?

occupational skin disease

One would think that taking care of our skin should be no big deal, that our skin will undergo a never-ending series of rebirths no matter how we treat it. In fact we replace our skin at the rate of one complete outer skin every 27 days.  This means that we will go through about 1,000 new skins in a lifetime.

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