Did you know that 80% of communicable diseases are transferred by touch? Touch in this case refers primarily to the touching of food, or the touching of one’s own mouth, eyes and nose. It is not simply person-to-person contact. Touching food with contaminated hands spreads foodborne illnesses like Salmonella, E Coli Staph and other intestinal infections. Proper hand washing can also reduce respiratory infections by close to 20%.
If you own a business, all it takes is one employee missing hand hygiene protocol just one time to cause major problems like contaminated product, litigation, brand damage and even business shut-down. Fortunately, Arizona Farm Bureau members have a member benefit with Grainger. Their hand washing and sanitizing products can simplify hand hygiene compliance in the workplace and at home.
Here are a few things we can all do to increase our hand hygiene and decrease illness:
· The recommended hand washing time is 15 seconds. The ideal washing time is 30 seconds. An easy way to time yourself is to think the alphabet slowly as you wash your hands. Kids say it outloud and love this entertaining way to wash their hands.
· Pay close attention to your fingertips and under your nails. The number of baceria on your fingertips doubles after using the bathroom.
· Bacteria count is highest on your dominant hand. Yet most right-handed people wash their left hand more thoroughly than their right hand, and vice versa.
· Dry your hands completely. Damp hands are 1,000x more likely to spread bacteria than dry hands.
· Use disposable paper towels. Re-usable cloth towels harbor millions of bacteria.
Next time you properly wash your hands, you’ll be reducing the spread of infections and helping to protect you, your family and those around you.
Editor’s note: For more information on our member benefits including our regional benefits go to Arizona Farm Bureau’s member benefits page online. Or, download the Member Benefits app to your smart phone for easy, everyday access to your benefits.