Handwashing has always been an important step in preventing the spread of germs. Now more than ever handwashing is critical. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “handwashing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection.” Washing our hands should be our first step every time we enter our home. Handwashing is a proven method to fight against germs and prevent foodborne illnesses.
When washing our hands we can follow these simple steps to ensure that we are properly washing our hands.
Step 1: Wet hands with water and then add soap.
Step 2: Rub hands together to work up lather and wash for at least 20 seconds. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Step 3: Rinse well under a stream of water.
Step 4: Dry hands thoroughly, with a single-use paper towel whenever possible.
Step 5: Turn off the faucet with a paper towel.
1. After playing/working outside.The easiest way to remember is wash your hands each time you enter your home and…
2. After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing.
3. Before, during and after preparing food.
4. Before eating.
5. After bathroom trips.
6. After touching an animal (including your pet), animal food or animal waste.
7. Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
8. Before and after treating a cut or wound.
9. After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.
10. After touching garbage.
When scrubbing your hands for 20 seconds, you can sing "Happy Birthday" two times to ensure that you have scrubbed for a full 20 seconds thoroughly. Be sure that you have scrubbed your palms, the backs of your hands, in-between your fingers, your thumbs, your fingernails and your wrists.If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Always avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture