Category Archives: Cross Contamination

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‘Tis the Flu Season!

Washing HandsThe last thing anyone wants during the holiday season is the flu. During the hustle and bustle this time of year, it’s important to practice effective hand hygiene and protect your health so you can feel your best while shopping, traveling and celebrating. So how can you focus on spreading holiday cheer and not germs this flu season? Try some of these tips so you can stay merry and healthy.

Get the rest you need. Lack of sleep can affect your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. After long days of running errands, traveling or attending a holiday party, be sure to give your body the rest it needs.

Sanitize your hands and your surroundings. While the spirit of the season may be all around us, so are numerous types of bacteria. Seats on a plane or bus, your desk at work and shopping carts are common places for you to pick-up unwanted germs. Hand washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 20%, so protect yourself by washing your hands and sanitizing your surroundings before touching them.

If you’re not feeling well, stay in. You don’t feel like yourself when you’re sick. While it can be hard to miss out on some holiday fun, it’s important to put your health first. Let people know you won’t be able to attend a gathering if you’re feeling under the weather. They’ll understand and appreciate your mindfulness to allow them to spread cheer, not your germs.

If you are sick, don’t prepare food. Bacteria is not a favorable secret ingredient. It’s important to prevent cross-contamination since 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands. Be courteous of others and don’t contaminate your famous holiday dish with your illness.

Stay hydrated. Water helps your body transport nutrients to keep you energized and healthy. Nourish your body by following the 8×8 rule; drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

Take in holiday joy, not germs. Those cookies in the break room and bowl of roasted peanuts at the holiday party are tempting to pick up and eat, but sharing is not always caring when it comes to festive treats. Use the proper utensils when adding food to your plate and steer clear of food that has been touched by other people. Your appetite and your health will be satisfied.

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Hunter is the Content Marketing Specialist at Betco.

If you have any questions, please visit http://www.betco.com, call (888) GO-BETCO or please contact us at welisten@betco.com.

modern bathroom

Improve Restroom Appearance by Cleaning For Health

In public and commercial settings like office buildings, restaurants, schools and healthcare facilities, restrooms are most frequently cited as the number one source of customer complaints and unsurprisingly one of the toughest areas for cleaning professionals to maintain. Cleaning for health and aesthetics are both important. Consumer perceptions of a facility’s restrooms can impact bottom lines, but restroom cleanliness is also very important to public health in general.

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When Clean Really Matters – Hospital Standards

With the risk of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI’s), a clean patient room is more important than ever. A person’s definition of “clean” can be a subjective one; however, in the health care industry, there is a clean standard that must be followed to insure a sense of comfort and quality for the patient. When a patient is admitted into the hospital, it is far from home, but the least a health care facility can do is provide their patients with a clean and welcoming environment. You may be wondering, what all should a health care facility do to meet this cleaning standard? The list below is a guide recommended by an experienced cleaning contractor that may be helpful for a health care facility cleaning staff. Continue reading

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Don’t be THAT Person During Flu Season

germ-hand-pictureWhen the flu season strikes, nobody wants to be known as the person that has passed along the flu to everyone in the office. It’s a reputation nobody wants to have; however, it is a hard one to avoid. Many times, we don’t even know that we are carrying a flu virus; symptoms may go unnoticed when you are the most contagious. So, how do you prevent passing along the pesky flu that nobody wants? Here are a few tips and tricks that might keep you from being “That” person.

Be Conscientious- If you are ill, let that be known when greeting people as to why you refuse to shake their hand. A simple, “excuse me for not shaking hands, I have a terrible cold” will suffice. The people you encounter will appreciate your consideration of them.

Keep your distance. If you are the sick one keep your distance from people. No hugging or close interaction that might cause germs to spread.

Cough and sneeze into the bend in your arm or into a tissue, not in your hands. This will keep your hands a little more germ free for when an unexpected handshake or interaction occurs.

Sanitize your desk, computer, keys and phone regularly. Your desk and work area is a germ infestation! Keeping the things we touch cleaned throughout the day is a big help. A general disinfectant can usually do the trick. Anytime you might touch something that is contaminated, make sure you wipe it down with a disinfectant and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Throw away used tissues after using them once. Don’t leave them laying around for others to pick up and throw away. Especially, don’t leave them on tables where someone else would have to dispose of them. They don’t want your germs either.

Keep a box of tissues and hand sanitizer on your desk at work. It is always smart to have extra on hand. Others can use them if they feel a sneeze or cough coming on. Make sure you sanitize your hands as soon as you are finished using a tissue.

Have some illness guidelines for employees. Be smart. Encourage employees to stay home if they are acutely ill or have a fever. If someone has a fever, it means they are still contagious. This will reduce the spread of illness throughout an organization.

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Justin is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Betco.

If you have any questions, please visit http://www.betco.com, call (888) GO-BETCO or please contact us at welisten@betco.com.

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Top Five Disease Outbreaks in History

Disease outbreaks have occurred throughout history. Some have lasted for years, and are still present today while others evolved and fortunately passed.

Top Five Disease Outbreaks in History

Disease and illness outbreaks have occurred throughout history. Fortunately, the number of outbreaks has significantly decreased due to the vast amount of innovation in medicine and disinfectants. However, we are still vulnerable to many illnesses.

To prevent new pandemics from occurring, it helps to know how previous crises were handled. The following are some of the largest outbreaks in world history.

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Don’t Get Stuck in a Pickle

SpreadingFlu_m_0102So, you’re in a pickle. Imagine you are going into the biggest job interview of your career, and you notice the interviewer seems to be under the weather during a record breaking flu season. Do you shake his hand? Or do you politely decline? Declining a handshake in any situation has the potential to be offensive. These are just one of the many situations you might run into during the flu season. To avoid an awkward encounter AND the flu, here are a few tips you can follow to keep the flu away!

1.) Stay home- If you are under the weather, and you have the opportunity to stay home to get well, that is your best option; however, we know that being sick isn’t always the ideal situation.

2.) Keep hand sanitizer on hand- Hand sanitizer, alcohol based, or non-alcohol based is a great way to clean your hands after you have been in a crowd or any place in public. It is smart to use hand sanitizer after touching anything that might be harboring the flu virus or dangerous germs. (i.e. someone that is ill and still contagious, door knobs, railings, public telephones, etc.)

3.) Wash your hands thoroughly -Take extra care in washing your hands. We recommend using hot or cold water, a strong antibacterial soap, and scrubbing for good 20 seconds in-between fingers, around your wrists and under your nails. Also, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before eating. Regular hand washing can drastically decrease your chances of picking up and transferring dangerous germs and bacteria.

Stay tuned for Part Two: “Don’t be THAT Person”. A blog that will give you great insight on how to reduce your chances of transferring your sickness to someone else when YOU are the one sick.

LesLeeLesLee Winfield is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Betco Corporation. During her spare time, LesLee enjoys running, movies, and spending time with her family. Click here to contact LesLee directly.

Germs, Germs, Everywhere!

Get this…the average student gets between 6 to 10 colds per year. The fact is colds and flu cause more doctor visits and missed school days than any other illness. So how can parents and school administration work together to prevent thcold and flu in school blogis?

Here are 5 ways to achieve this:

1.) Get Immunized – Prevention is the best medicine. Keep up to date on scheduled immunizations for school-aged children. Remember, vaccines only work against specific types of influenza virus for which it was designed for. There is no universal vaccine that will protect you against common cold viruses.

2.) WASH YOUR HANDS! One of the most common ways of catching a cold or flu is not washing your hands often enough or well enough at school. Studies have shown middle and high school students about half washed their hands after using the bathroom and only 33% of girls and 8% of boys used soap!

3.) Provide Hand Sanitizer – When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. To make it effective, you should rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands and fingers until dry which is about 30 seconds. Note: Children under the age of six should not use without supervision.

4.) Proper Germ Etiquette – Cover coughs and sneezes to prevent spreading germs if you think you may have the cold or flu. Sneeze into a tissue and discard then continue to wash your hands!

5.) Beware of Germ Spots (Touch points) – Studies have shown that bacteria levels are 80% higher on drinking fountains and locker doors than on a toilet seat. Likely because toilet seats get cleaned regularly.

“Stopping germs where they breed is the best preventative action.”

Here is a great resource on how to survive cold and flu season!
http://www.today.com/health/how-survive-cold-flu-season-2D12015077

Krysten Comperchio_jpgKrysten Comperchio is a Product Manager for Skin Care and Education at Betco Corporation. During her spare time, Krysten enjoys yoga, running and keeping up on current events. Click here to contact Krysten directly.

Be Careful of What You Touch! Cross-Contamination at the Dish Machine

cross contaminationWhenever something needs to be cleaned and sanitized, there is the potential for these areas to become contaminated if you are not careful.  The same applies to the dish machine at any public dining facility.

Ideally, a dish area would have 2 employees working the machine, one to handle the soil side where all of the used wares are contaminated, and one on the clean side to handle the wares that have just come out of the machine.  However, with ever-shrinking budgets, most restaurants, and other public facilities that are serving food don’t have the luxury of having two employees to take care of the dish area, and it is typical to see only one machine operator handling both the clean side and the dirty side.  This can turn into a disaster if the proper handling procedures are not followed.
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3 Simple Ways to Create a Cleaner Restroom

Let’s face it: restroom cleanliness is important no matter what facility you visit. They say that we spend an average of 1.5 years of our lives in a restroom and whether we know it or not, we all subliminally judge a facility’s cleanliness by the upkeep of the restroom. Does it smell clean? Are there papers on floor? Does the chrome shine? Does the counter top area look clean? Is the porcelain white? Are the garbage receptacles empty? So why not make the restroom a focal point of your cleaning standards. In fact, restroom cleanliness was so important to Ed Rensi (former CEO of McDonalds) that he devoted an entire afternoon to the importance of notion.

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How to Avoid Cross Contamination in Long Term Care Facilities

According to Dictionary.com, cross-contamination is defined as the passing of bacteria, microorganisms, or other harmful substances indirectly from one patient to another through improper or unsterile equipment, procedures, or products. Let’s face it, bacteria and microorganisms can be found everywhere but most of the time our bodies have strong defenses that keep us healthy. However in Long Term Care facilities there are greater risks because there are all different walks of life coming and going through these facilities.  Short of supplying a mask and gloves to all visitors, the first line of defense is to remind residents, staff and visitors to follow the golden rules our parents taught us …

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