SARS and Hand Washing
7 Healthcast: SARS and Hand Washing
From the time we're young we're told to wash our hands and not just before eating.
Lisa Berger, Food Safety Expert
"Washing your hands is probably one of the most important things you can do to prevent illness… Whether it's salmonella, e-coli, chagella, campho bacter, hepatitis A, the Norwalk virus we heard about with the cruise ships."
…And according to the CDC, SARS. So when should you wash, and how often?
"Wash, wash, wash, wash your hands as much as possible. Wash them every time you touch a surface, wash them always before you eat."
…and after taking public transportation, like the "T" or bus. Most bugs are spread through our hands. A simple test can show you how well you're washing.
"This basically simulates bacteria"
"I'm probably doing a better job than I normally do."
But when the lights go off, a special light reveals a big surprise.
"There's a lot that was missed. Especially on your wrists and around the knuckles."
Think about your own washing. People tend to miss the backs of their hands, between their fingers and the tops of their thumbs.
Michelle took the test...
"Oh yeah! Oh my god. Look how orange they are… I'll definitely wash more. Just to think all of that stuff is still on your hands, and you're eating with those hands!"
You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. And get your paper towel before you start washing because touching the towel dispenser afterwards can re-contaminate them.