You're in the bathroom at a restaurant.
You go over to the sink to wash your hands and you see the reminder to employees that they must, must wash their hands.
"They need to be reminded?" But you see a customer walk out without washing...wth??
It seems, though, that you need to be reminded of something too.
It's not that you don't make the effort. Well, usually. It's that you're doing it all wrong.
A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture insists that 97 percent of Americans contribute to foodborne illnesses spreading across our nation because they don't wash their hands properly before meals or putting something in their mouth.
The researchers studied the habits of 383 people and it makes for toxic reading. It seems we don't even know the basics.
The rule for making sure your hands are clean is very simple and has clearly not been marketed well enough. (I confess I'd not heard of it.)
You have to actually perform 20 seconds worth of handwashing to have a good chance of getting rid of bacteria.
That, though, doesn't suffice.
Apparently, many Americans then mess everything up by using a dirty towel, which slops bacteria back onto their hands, even though they've performed their minimum of 20 seconds of cleaning.
The truth, of course, is that 20 seconds is a long time. Only doctors on TV wash for 20 seconds, come on……...
We're often in such a hurry that we give it a quick spritz of soap and a cursory rinse and off we go. But, the soap barely lasts anyway because it is a very temporary solution.
The Department of Agriculture says that washing your hands correctly is just one step toward resisting the spread of bacteria.
There is a better way to prevent spreading bacteria and germs that end up on our hands………..
Think about the many ways germs transfer in a restaurant-
The menu, the salt and pepper shakers, the table……… you see the disinfectants typically used only last 15-30 seconds and only on the surface. Newer technologies allow customers and owners the ability to utilize products like Durisan that actually binds to the surface and lasts and protects for up to 24 hours, wow!
Now this won’t help Burgers or undercooked chicken which are a big problem, it seems. 66 percent of Americans don't use a food thermometer to check their burgers are at a safe temperature (160 degrees Fahrenheit) even though 60% of American have one at home!?!?!?. . But at least the bacteria on your hands won’t be to blame.
Americans are also handling raw poultry in such a cavalier fashion that bacteria can end up in all sorts of places, such as salads, refrigerator handles and spice containers.
But let's get back to the handwashing thing.
One remarkable aspect was that, as these participants prepared meals and handled raw meat products, a mere 33 percent even tried to wash their hands when hygiene would deem it necessary. Another reason to change soap or hand sanitizers to a better product that is more effective and longer lasting.
And one final statistic to depress you and remind you that you're no saint either: More than 40 percent of those who tried to wash their hands didn't bother to wet them. WTH??
And a hearty 20 percent or so didn't bother to, ohhhh, use soap at all. And what about your iPhone or computer keyboard…….?? Hmmm???
The next time you answer your smartphone and press it firmly to your face, consider this: Are you touching fecal matter right now?
Quite possibly. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found fecal matter on one out of every six smartphones in a 2011 study. Add to that the work of Charles Gerba, a famed University of Arizona microbiologist who found cell phones carry 10 times the bacteria of most toilet seats.
New research has found that your computer or laptop keyboard is 20,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Talk about anxiety.
You won’t like this, but tests were performed by swabbing typical items used in an office to see how much bacteria they harboured.
Five items within each category to find the average colony-forming units (CFU) per square inch on each surface. Swabs were then sent off to be tested in a laboratory.
The swabs revealed that, overall, an electronic ID badge was the dirtiest item, with 243 times more bacteria than a germ-filled pet toy.
Keyboards came in second place, followed by mobile phones, a computer mouse and, finally, a trackpad - which had 162 times more bacteria than money.
The most common type of bacteria found on these everyday items was gram-positive cocci, which is found in pneumonia. It’s safe to say antibacterial wipes have never looked more inviting. Well, maybe not………………
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