Wash your hands (July 11)


Did you hear about the group of people that got sick after eating at a party? The conclusion was “someone did not wash their hands properly.” What does that mean? Does it mean that they did not use soap and water and sing the first chorus of “Happy Birthday” while they were washing their hands in a real sink?
Since the invention of hand sanitizer people don’t wash their hands the way they used to. I bought a book on washing hands and in my overstocked library I cannot find it. It actually had the name washing your hands in the title. So I looked it up and there are thousands of titles out there about washing your hands geared towards children. That made me think, is washing hands just for kids? Or do people think that now that they are adults they don’t have to wash their hands?
I am so tired of seeing a big jug of hand sanitizer at the beginning of a buffet table. Just the thought of hand sanitizer makes me ill. I watch people use it and many are “one handers.” That means they put one hand under the pump then rub a little into the other hand. I didn’t think the hand sanitizer was to be used like lotion.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, lathering up with soap and warm water before rinsing. If you’re rushing through the process and skipping soap, those are both red flags that may mean bacteria or leftover food are still lingering on your hands. Reportedly 97 percent of the population does not wash their hands properly.
Wait a minute…how about drying your hands after you’re done washing your hands, it might not hurt to be a bit more mindful of what towel you’re grabbing to dry off with. According to the USDA’s study, not only were participants washing their hands incorrectly, they were drying them with dirty hand towels. So what can happen if someone who is serving or preparing food does not wash their hands? Read this excerpt from a Charlotte newspaper:
“Health officials say poor hand-washing led to contaminated food that sickened at least 40 people at a weekend party in North Carolina. Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris told news outlets that some of those who attended the Saturday party in Charlotte are suffering from a highly contagious disease calls shigella. Harris said shigella causes diarrhea and is spread through contact with feces.” Harris says someone who prepared some food for the party did not wash hands thoroughly. So, commit this list to memory…wash hands:
•Before, during, and after preparing food
•Before eating food
•Before and after caring for someone who is sick
•Before and after treating a cut or wound
•After using the toilet
•After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
•After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
•After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
•After handling pet food or pet treats
•After touching garbage.
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