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Hand Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Food Safety Blog

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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.

Water Consumption Reduced with One Simple Change

water consumption

The sustainable and efficient use of resources continues to be an area of emphasis for companies’ environmental responsibility initiatives. Many organizations are striving to reduce their environmental impact, and in the process save money, by reducing their use of energy and natural resources—including water.

Stick it to skin disease: Tips for protection against hazards

skin disease

Skin diseases are one of the most common forms of occupational diseases in the U.S. Working skin is exposed to a multitude of harmful chemical, physical and mechanical hazards, and it is vital to take effective measures to protect skin when it is likely to come into contact with cooling lubricants, grease, oil, acids and caustic solutions, detergents, cleaning agents, solvents, metallic dust and UV radiation.

Food Safety Is In Our Hands

food safety

Did you know that 10 million bacteria would fit very comfortably on something as small as the head of a pin?  Given the right conditions, those 10 million bacteria would double every 20 minutes.  Unfortunately, these invisible germs are passed around our communities easily with the workplace being the main recipient. Although we are unable to see bacteria, the fact remains our hands are responsible for the spread of an estimated 80% of common infectious diseases. 

The Food Service Industry Can Help Prevent Norovirus Outbreaks

norovirus food industry

Most norovirus outbreaks from contaminated  food occur in food service settings, according to a Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infected food  workers are frequently the source of these outbreaks, often by touching  ready-to-eat foods served in restaurants with their bare hands. The food  service industry can help prevent norovirus outbreaks by enforcing food safety  practices, such as making sure workers always practice good hand hygiene on the  job and stay home when they are sick.  

Infection Prevention: Why It Matters in the Workplace


Germs and bacteria that cause common illnesses are invisible to the naked eye. Whether you are in a workplace, public facility, leisure environment or educational facility, germs are spread from person-to-person and by touching everyday surfaces. In fact, according to a recent presentation by Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist from the University of Arizona, “we share more common surfaces, or fomites, with more people than ever before in history.”

Are your workers UV protected?

outdoor workers sun

With the approach of summer, it's easy to want to invite the sun in with open arms. We all know that we should wear sunscreen outdoors; it's something that we've heard a thousand times before. We sloth on sunscreen at the beach, when we jog or garden. But what about at work? Most people probably never think to apply sunscreen before or during work, yet the reality is, millions of people work outdoors for extended periods of time and are leaving their skin exposed to harmful UV rays. 

Hotel Rooms – Source of Community Associated Infections?


I was waiting for a connection at Lisbon airport when an Assistant Producer from the Canadian Broadcast Company (CBC) called my mobile to gauge interest on undertaking a study to determine the sanitary status of hotel rooms. Of course there have been a number of studies performed over the years on hotel rooms but the majority were small and only designed to fill a 5 min feature on a slow news day. The CBC Marketplace people were more ambitious and planned to visit over 54 hotel rooms from six national chains in three major cities. The study encompassed looking at un-cleaned hotel surfaces using a black-light, followed by ATP swabs to get a general indication of microbial loading. Microbial testing included enumerating total aerobic counts, methicillin resistant bacteria (primarily MRSA), Clostridium difficile and the fecal indicators Escherichia coli/coliforms. Other studies had taken samples all over the room but our plan was to focus on frequent contact surfaces- TV remote controls, phones, alarm clock, bed covers, bathroom countertop and toilet seat.

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