Tag Archives: washing hands

Avoid Food Poisoning! 10 Steps to Protect Against Foodborne Illness

Statistics show that most of us will, at some point, come down with some type of foodborne illness in our lifetime. According to WebMD, 1 in 6 Americans contract a foodborne illness every year. Of those, “128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die each year after eating tainted food.” Even though most cases of foodborne illness are not life threatening, it’s a good idea to try to avoid getting sick by following a few basic food safety practices. Read on to learn how to avoid food poisoning both at home and while dining out.

Food Safety At Home

Color-code your towels. Keeping the towels you use in different parts of the home is more hygienic and can prevent cross contamination. For example, you might use white towels in the kitchen, yellow towels in the bathroom, and orange towels for cleaning other parts of the home.

Wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water before and after handling any food – particularly raw meats, fruits and vegetables.

Clean all produce – even organic. Fruits and vegetables can harbor dirt, pesticides, and even germs and viruses from other peoples’ hands. Fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw are especially important to clean well.

Disinfect tabletops and countertops with vinegar before and after eating or cooking.

Thoroughly wash all dishes in hot, soapy water.  If you wash your dishes by hand, sanitize cutting boards and cooking utensils with vinegar as well.

Don’t leave leftovers sitting out after grocery shopping or serving a meal. Refrigerate and freeze foods right away.

Don’t thaw meat on the kitchen counter. Instead, use the refrigerator or cold running water. Use a meat thermometer when cooking to ensure that your food is cooked thoroughly.

Avoid Food Poisoning While Dining Out

 Avoid Food Poisoning! 10 Steps to Protect Against Foodborne Illness

Dining out without side effects

Wash your hands (after you order!) You probably already wash your hands before eating at a restaurant – only to come back to the table to grab the very dirty and unwashed menu. Wash up after ordering to keep your hands clean.

Skip the lemon.  While you might enjoy a slice of lemon in your water or tea, skip them when dining out. One study found that 75% of lemon wedges carry illness causing germs and bacteria. The truth is, restaurant staff are not always as hygienic in their food preparation as is ideal and it’s inevitable that someone’s unwashed hands will dip into the lemon wedge bin to garnish a drink – it just happens. Skip the lemons.

Give the booth a wipe down. Carry sanitizing wipes in your bag to give chairs and booths a quick once-over before you sit down. While the tables are washed between each party, sometimes the seating is skipped! You can avoid carrying home a lot of germs and pathogens on your clothing by using this tip.

Foodborne illness isn’t fun – follow these tips to stay safe and protect your family.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

 Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

The brave and forward thinking Dr. who discovered that washing hands reduces deaths and infections

I was searching around the internet about a year ago and wondered who the first person was that figured out we should wash our hands to reduce the spread of germs.  I also figured out why the popular brand of hand sanitizer is called Purell.  I came across this story and wanted to share it with you to expand on and explain the importance of hand washing.

In 1847, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis pioneered the prevention of transmission of disease by washing hands (Prophylaxis), reducing the mortality rate due to Puerperal Fever from 12% to almost ZERO by enforcing the washing of hands with chlorinated lime.

At the time, Dr. Semmelweis’ hypothesis was considered extreme and was widely rejected and ridiculed. When he refused to compromise his beliefs, the hospital that employed him was pressured into terminating his clinical privileges. Semmelweis’ sole “crime” was that he proposed a contrarian idea to current thinking, which directly challenged the (incorrect) current medical theories of his time.

Despite the continued ridicule, hostility, and unemployment, Dr. Semmelweis tirelessly promoted his theory, sometimes denouncing physicians who refused to wash their hands as irresponsible murderers. His contemporaries eventually concluded that he was crazy and, in 1865, committed him to a mental institution where he was beaten to death by guards.

 Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

Proved the germ theory of disease

Dr. Semmelweis’s theory was considered irrelevant, until Louis Pasteur connected germs to disease, and Prophylaxis is now considered standard practice around the world. The 1800s medical community’s refusal to consider his theories earlier clearly resulted in the continued unnecessary spread of disease and death throughout the world.

Backward and reactionary thinking did not die with Dr. Semmelweis in 1865. Highly qualified and competent physicians, scientists, healthcare personnel, and government employees continue to suffer similar retaliation throughout the United States, which is why organizations like Semmelweis Society International and the Alliance for Patient Safety participated in the recent Whistleblower Week in Washington.

The Semmelweis Society International annually recognizes individual Healthcare Providers, Researchers, and associated personnel, who have regularly challenged the status quo, who have reported issues, often controversial issues, regarding patient health and safety. Semmelweis Awardees have often had to endure the tyranny of threats and retaliation, and actual financial ruination, in some cases. Without these courageous individuals, progress and innovation in medicine, public service, and industry is inhibited, or negated.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.