Tag Archives: hand washing

Often Off The Radar: Hepatitis A and Food Safety

When it comes to food illness, such names as Listeria, E.coli, etc. might be familiar. A name that may be more of a surprise to some is “Hepatitis.” More specifically, Hepatitis A appeared in some disconcerting recent headlines involving a New York City tapas restaurant. Hepatitis A is a virus that causes liver inflammation. According to the Mayo Clinic, “You’re most likely to contract hepatitis A from contaminated food or water or from close contact with someone who’s already infected.” The virus can be passed on via small traces of fecal material being orally ingested.

This appears to have been the cause for concern in NYC. An employee, having returned from a trip to Mexico, may have exposed several hundred people to the virus, via handling desserts at the restaurant. Customers that ate at the restaurant within this certain time period are being encouraged to get vaccinated for safe measure.

handwashingEven if Hepatitis A might not be a commonly focused-upon food-safety related virus in the media and amongst consumers,  it does share a very common method of prevention with many other food illnesses: hand-washing. This simple measure can help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A in the food industry and elsewhere.

Even if mild cases of the virus generally do not create any “permanent liver damage,” you can be sure seeing the word “Hepatitis” connected to the food supply can be quite shocking to the average American consumer. Informing employees and making sure your entire operation is informed and trained in proper hand-washing techniques can help prevent this virus and a whole host of others.

To check out some helpful resources to assist in implementing an effective hygiene program, check out this free FDA resource.

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Product Focus: Shining the Light on Glo Germ™

glowgermHow can one product be of use across a multiplicity of settings, such as industrial environments, labs, schools, fast food restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals, universities, tattoo shops, homes, etc.? Well, anyone interested in preventing the spread of germs, learning proper hand washing techniques, and learning effective surface cleaning techniques will find Glo Germ™ quite illuminating.

Glo Germ™ contains tiny, plastic “germs,” and when applied in a oil or gel form these “germs” are spread over the skin. Just like real germs, the small particles hide out in nooks and crannies of the skin. After hands are washed, a UV light is used to expose the remaining “germs.” Sometimes quite shocking to participants, Glo Germ™ highlights weaknesses in the user’s hand washing techniques and gives them a visual representation of an unrelenting enemy all around us.

The kits have also been used to show the tenacity of germs in other ways too. Glo Germ™ recommends an exercise where a facilitator applies Glo Germ™, and then proceeds to shake hands with others. The UV light is used after to showcase how germs are spread through common daily contact.  The company also highlights that Glo Germ™ can be used to demonstrate surface cleaning, where Glo Germ™ Powder is spread on a surface, cleaned, and then tested with the UV light, to see how many of the “germs” were eliminated or left behind in the process.

One can see the usefulness of Glo Germ™ in institutional and industrial settings, where proper hygiene is absolutely necessary. The kits are a potent training tool that bring the life of germs to light. Handwashing is the first line of defense against germs. Kids, adults, employees, and employers can all have fun learning an important lesson that can keep us all safer in any setting thanks to Glo Germ™.

To check out a popular kit offered by Nelson-Jameson, click here.

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