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Hand Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Food Safety Blog

5 Gross Hygiene Facts

 

We've come a long way in our hygiene habits since the middle ages. Back then most people believed bathing was unhealthy and since toilets didn't exist, chamber pots were just emptied out the nearest window. Thankfully the Romans were smart enough to give us soap, which can be traced back all the way to 2800 BC.

 

   

 

Our modern world today is much cleaner. Now we have toilets, sanitation and soap - so how bad can it really be? We'll here's a few gross facts that demonstrate some of us are still in the dark ages when it comes to hygiene.

 

502564230_295x166200% More Fecal Bacteria on Cutting Boards than Toilet Seats

The average kitchen chopping board has around 200% more fecal bacteria on it than a toilet seat. Food safety experts suggest you use different cutting boards for red meat, chicken, fish and vegetables. Also your kitchen sponge can contain thousands of bacteria per square inch including E. coli and Salmonella. Be sure to replace them often.

 

TV Remote Controls Are a Leading Carrier of Bacteria

If you're staying at a hotel you may want to stay away from that remote and be careful of the light switches. These objects are among the most contaminated items in hotel rooms with bacteria levels between 2 to 10 times higher than what's accepted in hospitals.

 

Germs from Flushing Toilet Can Travel up to 6 Feet

It's not just the door and toilet handles you need to watch out for in public washrooms. Every time a toilet is flushed and the lid is left up, a fine aerosol mist is sprayed into the air that contains all types of bacteria causing diseases. Air movement including hot air dryers can encourage the dispersal and transmission of this bacteria. It can then be inhaled or deposited on your clothes, creating a potential mobile source of infection.

 

Handbags Carry up to 10,000 Bacteria per square inch & 30% Have Fecal Bacteria

Forget about what's in your handbag, what's on it is much worse. Bags come into contact with some very germy places including public washrooms, public transport and the floors of restaurants, malls and bars to name a few. That bacteria travels everywhere the bag does, landing on desks, restaurant tables and counter tops etc. So guys, the next time your significant other asks you to hold their purse, 'not looking cool' should be the least of your worries.

 

1 in 5 People Don't Wash Their Hands

Sadly 1 in 5 people don't wash their hands and of those that do only 30% use soap. The CDC recommends 15-20 seconds of vigorous hand washing with soap and water to effectively kill germs, but only about 5% of people wash their hands for 15-seconds or more. The result - fecal matter including bacteria such as E. coli can be found on just over a quarter of our hands.

 

So thank you to the Romans for creating soap, because it's like a 'do-it-yourself' vaccine when used correctly to wash your hands. It involves five simple and effective steps (wet, later, scrub, rinse and dry) as recommended by the CDC. Regular hand washing and some common hygiene sense will help you step out of the dark ages and effectively overcome these 5 gross hygiene facts.

  

References

 

About the Author

 

Patrick BoshellPatrick Boshell is the Marketing Director for Deb Canada and the managing editor for Deb Group's Hand Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Food Safety blog.

 

He's been actively involved in the Canadian commercialization of several Deb innovations including Optidose InstantFOAM Hand Sanitizer for healthcare and GrittyFOAM Heavy Duty Hand Cleaner for manufacturing and industrial applications.  

 

Patrick is an advocate for making hand hygiene contagious in the workplace.  He is also a social media enthusiast, using tools such as LinkedIN and Twitter to help educate the importance of effective hand hygiene and skin care to a global audience.  To connect with Patrick, please contact him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

Topics: Infection Prevention - Workplace and Public Areas

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