Wash Sunrise GP Dr Ginni Mansberg explain the adverse effects of not washing your hands...
Washing your hands after going to the toilet is kinda like that, except evidently some sickos – one in five, in fact - reckon they’re above this basic act of hygiene. That’s according to new research out of the Food Safety Information Council, which also established that two in five don’t rinse their mitts before handling food.
"The faecal-oral route is the number one cause of spreading diseases," Dr Ginni Mansberg told Weekend Sunrise.
"Apparently 76 per cent of blokes do wash their hands after the bathroom...86 per cent of women wash their hands.”
Age is also a major factor, with the older generations far more likely to adhere to a thorough clean up after relieving themselves.
"Good handwashing, using running water, soap and drying hands thoroughly is a basic public health message that people seem to be forgetting," Lydia Buchtmann, of the Food Safety Information Council explains.
"This behaviour could be contributing to the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning each year, not to mention spreading viral infections such as cold, influenza and norovirus."
Gulp. Btw, pretty much everything has the potential to transfer bugs to our hands, although open sores or cuts, pets, used tissues and shared bathrooms are especially dirty. Because of this, the Food Safety Information Council advises we wash up:
- before handling, preparing and eating food
- after touching raw meat, fish, shell eggs or poultry
- after using the toilet and changing nappies
- after blowing your nose
- after touching a pet
- after gardening
As for the best technique, the Food Safety Information Council has also put together some simple guidelines:
- Wet hands and rub together well to build up a good lather with soap for at least 20 seconds, washing between fingers and under nails.
- Rinse well under running water to remove the bugs.
- Dry hands thoroughly on a clean towel for at least 20 seconds. Touching surfaces with moist hands encourages bugs to spread from the surface to hands
- If no running water is available, use an alcohol gel.