PFM 20 9 - Page 23



NEWS
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potential health hazard. But, if you stop
to think about the number of different
hands that touch things such as the kettle
handle, tea bag box lid, mugs, and so on,
the potential for cross contamination
really adds up. With 80% of all infections
transmitted by hand, simply washing
one’s hands thoroughly can help to
overcome
the
potential
cross
contamination risks associated with the
office tea run. And yet many office
kitchens seem poorly equipped to offer
the users access to good hand and
surface hygiene.”
How you carry your colleague’s mug
could also play a big role in preventing
cross contamination. The swabbing
study found that the rim of a used mug
can harbour more than three times the
normal amount of microbiological activity.
5.
Sugar container (1406)
Whilst this tends to be fine if the mugs
6.
Kitchen tap (1331)
aren’t swapped (the majority will be the
7.
Sink surface/drying rack
person’s own healthy bacteria), if
(1234)
someone else touches the rim of the
8.
Hot water tap (1160)
mug, the cross contamination risk
9.
Kitchen top (948)
increases. In fact, 72% of those surveyed
10. Cutlery drawer handle (754)
admit they touch the rim of someone
else’s mug.
Low: 500
Top 10 tea run culprits (bacterial
readings)
1.
2.
3.
4.
Tea bag box/tin (3785)
Kettle handle (2483)
Rim of used mug (1746)
Fridge door handle (1592)
Dr Peter Barratt, Initial Washroom
Hygiene concludes: “Hand hygiene is
really the key to mitigating the risks
when it comes to the spread of germs
in offices. Businesses need to ensure
they have the right facilities in place to
promote good hand hygiene across the
company. This includes good quality
soap from dispensers, hand drying
equipment and hand sanitiser stations.
“However, while employers need to
provide the right tools for good office
hygiene, and offer advice and reminders
on how and when to use them,
employees also have a responsibility for
their own personal hygiene. Using antibacterial wipes on kitchen surfaces and
regularly cleaning your mug can pay
huge dividends in terms of maintaining
a healthy workforce.”
Reader Reply: 209033
23

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