Are you on the lookout for natural allergy relief? Recent studies showed that hand hygiene plays a pivotal role in preventing the dissemination of resistance to antibiotics and decreasing healthcare-associated infections. This may be attributed to the fact that we live in a world that is overwhelmed by bacteria, whether they are commensal (harmless) or pathogenic. For example, there is an average of 1500 bacteria on each square centimeter of your skin. The air you breathe is loaded with over 1800 types of bacteria, as well. This is why proper hand hygiene is so important. All the allergens you potentially carry can simply be washed away, making life that bit easier for those with allergies.
That being said, what are the dangers of not washing your hands?
Cross contamination is the spreading or moving of bacteria between different types of foods via direct contact. It may occur if traces or remnants of raw meats come into contact prepared or cooked foods. The previous case may happen when you buy different kinds of foods such as poultry, raw meat, eggs, and ready-to-eat foods from the grocery store, and put all these kinds of foods in a common bag.
Another cascross-contaminationation is contaminated kitchen tools such as knife or cutting board. For example, if you make slices of raw meat using a knife, then you use the same contaminated (without proper cleaning) knife to chop tomatoes. In this scenario, there is a strong possibility that bacteria will spread from raw meat to tomatoes. As a result, if you eat contaminated food, and feel sick, you may suffer from an allergic reaction.
Preventing cross contamination
It’s easy to prevent cross contamination. Prepare foods separately with different utensils. Wash food thoroughly. And most importantly, know how to wash your hands.
How to Wash Your Hands Properly and When
Although washing hands is easy and simple process, its impact on your health is very great. The main purpose of washing your hands is to remove bacteria, and dirt.
Basically, there are five steps.
- Firstly, you shall use warm running water to make your hands wet. At the same time, rub your hands with soap.
- Secondly, be sure to rub your hands together to froth the back of your hands, the spaces between your finger, and your nails.
- Thirdly, scrub your hands completely for a minimum time of 20 seconds.
- Fourthly, in order to remove any remaining soap or dirt, you shall rinse your hands with clean, running water.
- Finally, dry your hands with the aid of clean towel or dry air.
When shall I wash my hands?
- If someone is sick, and you have to stay, and help him, you must wash your hands before and after caring with him/her.
- If you injured yourself, and this has made a cut or wound, you must wash your hands before and after treating of this cut.
- Wash your hands properly after using toilet.
- If you sneeze, or cough, you must wash your hands.
- If you prepare food, you must wash your hands before, during, and after preparing food.
- It is also essential that you wash your hands before eating food.
- If you touch animal, animal waste, or animal feed, then you have to wash your hands thoroughly.
- You also must wash your hands if you change the diapers or clean up a child, in case of he/she used the toilet.
- Of course, if you touch garbage, you must wash your hands.
Definitely, the first choice in removing dirt and germs is to use soaps and water. But what shall you do if soaps and water are not available? In fact, some hand sensitizer may be considered as an alternative, but not permanent, solution. According to regulations of Food and Drug Administration, hand sensitizers are not as effective as soaps and water in removing food or dirt, which may get in contact with your hands after eating food.
If you prefer to use hand sensitizers, just be sure that they contain at least 60% alcohol thanks to the powerful characters of alcohol in destroying the germs and lysis (breaking down) the bacterial cell membranes.
In conclusion, if you really care for your health as well as the health of your family members, you must wash your hands properly; otherwise there will be negative consequences on your health. Believe me: washing your hands is not a trivial process; it is one of the most important steps in obtaining a healthy life.