Happy Global Handwashing Day!

By Sharon Smith
Wednesday, 14 October, 2015

That’s right: the Food Safety Information Council is using this Thursday 15 October Global Handwashing Day to celebrate your favourite topic: hand washing. So get out those gloves and blow them up into balloons in the name of good hand hygiene.
The council is undertaking a public education campaign after concerning surveys indicated that while Australians knew how to wash their hands, in practice the public were not actually all that good at washing their hands.
‘When we observe people actually washing their hands our most recent study showed 29% of men and 8% of women didn’t wash their hands at all after using the bathroom in the food hall of a shopping centre,’ Food Safety Information Council Chair, Rachelle Williams said.
‘Correct hand washing is an important public health issue as you might find that you and your family may, not only get less food poisoning, but also catch fewer viral diseases like norovirus, colds and flu.
‘We need to take the time to wash our hands with soap and running water and to dry thoroughly. We recommend humming the ‘Happy Birthday’ song through twice to make sure you’re washing for long enough,’ Ms Williams concluded.
The Food Safety Information Council has five tips for washing your hands correctly:

  1. Wet your hands and rub together well to build up a good lather with soap as the suds

  2. Don’t forget to wash between your fingers and under your nails - you might have to use a nail brush.

  3. Rinse well under running water to help to carry bacteria and viruses away.

  4. Dry your hands thoroughly on a clean towel. Touching surfaces with moist hands encourages the contamination from the surface to your hands.

  5. Always wash and dry your hands before touching or eating food, after touching raw meat, fish or chicken, using the toilet, changing nappies, blowing your nose or touching a pet.

Don’t forget to wish your colleagues and patients a Happy Handwashing Day!
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