Welcome to The Wash, your trusted resource for the latest and greatest in public health and hygiene, where we will tackle topics like hand hygiene, best practices in footwear sanitization, creating an employee hygiene program, and more!
Everyone understands the importance of good hand hygiene, but the reality is that out in the real world… most people don’t understand the power of hand hygiene to reduce the spread of disease.
Most food production and packaging professionals understand the importance of good hand hygiene, but how many understand the potential pitfalls of even the most strictly enforced SOP’s?
This is the first post in a series we're doing on ways your company can improve hand hygiene habits across your company, from employees on the production line to managers.
It’s the height of flu season, and just trying to avoid coughing co-workers in the office or plant facility may not be enough to stave off a case of the flu. Bad bugs can spread very quickly through the workplace.
According to the American Association of Port Authorities and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, cruises are a $37.85 billion industry in the United States, with the annual number of cruise passengers averaging well over 20 million. That’s a lot of people willing to be isolated with their new closest friends on a boat in the middle of the ocean. With all of these bodies in one relatively small space for days at a time, the chances for spreading germs around are high. The spread of norovirus is typically associated with cruise ships because the close living quarters increases the amount of group contact. Most of us have heard of the recent virus outbreaks on cruise lines, so how can you prevent being the next big news story involving wide-spread illness on a cruise ship? Other than choosing not to cruise, take a look at these cruise ship hygiene tips, including cruise ship hand washing and ways cruise lines can improve their VSP scores.
The Unhealthy Habit
There are few items more ubiquitous than the little bottle of hand sanitizer clipped to a purse or student backpack, the big jug of it in the workplace or classroom, and even dispensers in medical offices or supermarkets. However, the dangers of hand sanitizers are not well known, even to the people who depend on them to help stop transmission of some of the most dangerous pathogens known to the medical profession.
Hands and History
The definition of hygiene would be different in each century you go back to over the course of human history. For a Roman of the first century, cleanliness meant soaking for hours in baths of various temperatures, scraping the body with a metal scraping blade, and applying olive oil to the skin.
We all remember what we learned in elementary school: Wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom. It's as adults that we let important lessons slide or take short cuts, but as cold and flu season approaches, it's time to revisit this very basic topic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, washing your hands with soap and water is the most important and most effective step in preventing the spread of contagious diseases, both inside and outside of clinical settings. At home, at work or anywhere in your day, it's a good idea to keep your hands clean. Simple hand washing tips can help keep you and everyone around you from exposure to such pathogens as Norovirus, MRSA and even the H1N1 influenza virus that cannot be eradicated as thoroughly with hand sanitizer as with soap, water and proper hand washing. It is important to note that gel hand sanitizers should only be used when soap and water is not available.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 million people each year become infected with pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics and antimicrobial agents. Preventing the spread of these pathogens is of paramount concern in many industries, such as food supply chain industries, health care and even among school campuses and colleges with an interest in protecting their workers, students and the general public. Among the pathogens generating the most concern are the following: