Happy Birthday to you (x2)
In celebration of my Food Microbiology & Sanitation class that is coming to a close on Thursday (and thus I am studying like crazy for the final), I’d like to share some information on a seemingly simple act that we’re probably not doing correctly.
I’m sure NONE of you are one of those people that leave the bathroom (especially public ones) without washing your hands. I know you know better than that. But, like me, you’re probably not washing your hands correctly.
Here are some tips:
–Make sure you are washing long enough. How long is enough? While washing your hands, since “Happy Birthday” twice. That’s how long you should be scrubbing (If you prefer counting instead of singing, count to 20)
-Use paper towels. A lot. I am so my mother’s daughter with this one, but I use a paper towel to turn on/off the faucets and also to open the bathroom door when I’m leaving. You don’t want all your hard scrubbing work to go to waste when you touch the handle. Also, it can be pretty hilarious as you try to contort your body by holding the door open with one foot or elbow while trying to toss the paper towel in the garbage.
-Pay attention to your nails. Especially when working in your kitchen. All sorts of yuckiness can get trapped under your finger nails, so don’t neglect them.
-Jewelry can also harbor germs. So make sure you clean and sanitize your rings, watches, bracelets, etc often. And ladies, as a plus, nothing perks up your day like a newly cleaned gem.
-Antibacterial gels do NOT replace soap and water. Sure, I use the gel as soon as I get off the subway. But I also wash my hands with soap and water. With the antibacterial gel, you may be killing the germs, but you’re not REMOVING them from your hands. Plus, some bacteria do resist the gel. Only soap and water will kill and remove those microbes.
So there you go. Next time you hit the loo, make sure you to follow these rules and sing “Happy Birthday” a few times. You might even make some new friends while at the sink!