With the recent outbreak of E. coli in Germany followed by a smaller one in France, we felt some much awaited hygiene tips were in order, to help us all along when it comes to lunch-on-the-go and hand hygiene. So, with the help of our friends over at Cuticura, the makers of the Hand Hygiene Gel (pictured below),
here's some expert advice for reducing the risk of E. coli, by Dr Lisa Ackerley:
1. Always wash hands with soap and water and an antibacterial hand hygiene gel. When you can’t use a wash basin, carry an antibacterial hand hygiene gel with you so that you can use it before eating, after going to the toilet, handling animals or changing nappies
2. Avoid eating undercooked meat, in particular minced beef, and ensure ground meat products such as burgers are cooked to an internal temperature of 75°C – never eat them rare as the contamination from the outside surface of the meat will be spread through to the centre of these products (unlike a rare steak, where the outside surface is seared)
3. Wash hands with soap and water and use an antibacterial hand gel before and after preparing and cooking food
4. Be careful to prevent cross-contamination by cleaning and disinfecting food preparation equipment such as cutting boards and utensils after contact with raw meats, poultry and unwashed salads and vegetables. If putting equipment in the dishwasher, use a hot wash. 30 or 40 °C will allow bacteria to actually multiply, not kill them!
5. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating and don’t drink unpasturised milk or juices
6. Do not allow children to share bath water with anyone who has any signs of diarrhoea or 'stomach flu'. And keep any toddlers still in nappies out of splash parks, wading and swimming pools. If you have a paddling pool at home, empty it daily and re-fill when you need it – don’t let it become a bacterial soup!
7. Always wash your hands after using the toilet – it’s amazing how many people don’t! Supervise children, making sure they use soap and wash thoroughly – the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday to you” twice is about right
8. If looking after someone with diarrhoea, encourage them to wash their hands thoroughly, disinfect surfaces such as taps, flush handles and door handles in the bathroom and make sure they use their own hand-towel, and launder their clothes at 90 °C if possible.
9. If you or anyone in your family has bloody diarrhoea, seek immediate medical attention
10. If you have visited Germany in the last 8 days (at time of release) seek urgent medical attention if you have diarrhoea
Cuticura kills 99.99% of E. coli* within a 20 seconds contact time, and is the perfect solution for helping to prevent infection. Great to keep on your desk , in your bag, or inside your lunch bag, Cuticura is non-sticky, fast and effective.
(Dr Lisa Ackerley is the Environmental Health Practitioner and Visiting Professor of Environmental Health at Salford University )
Poor hand hygiene could be the cause of a staggering 173 million sick days off work in the UK costing the economy £10 billion a year the study reveals.
It is estimated that 75% of illnesses resulting in sick days could have stemmed from poor hand hygiene habits. In fact, adequate hand washing has the potential to reduce the risk of diarrhoeal disease by 42 – 47%.
So it's worth thinking about these tips and keeping some of this in your bag for those times, when running water and soap just isn't available.
Thanks for stopping by and be safe!
The Lunchbox World Team x