By Teresa Carr
Infection Control in the Home – Standard Precautions – Controlling the spread of infectious germs around the house doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Following some simple rules can drastically cut the chance of illness:
• Prevent cross-contamination. Use a different implement (broom, mop, sponges) for each cleaning task in the kitchen and bathroom.
• Disinfect cutting boards after each use. And use separate cutting boards: one for vegetables and fruits, and one exclusively for meats. Or, mark each side of one board: one side for vegetables and fruits, the other side for raw meats.
• Replace sponges frequently. Sponges and scrubbers provide the warm, moist conditions and trapped food particles on which bacteria thrive. Bacteria multiply rapidly, increasing from a few to millions in a matter of hours. Between uses, clean sponges with an antibacterial cleaning product and let air dry or microwave a wet, not dry, sponge for two minutes.
• Empty the vacuum. Dangerous organisms, such as Salmonella, could be multiplying in the vacuum cleaner bag, waiting to be released into the air every time you vacuum. Bagless vacs should be emptied after every use. For vacs with collection bags, empty at least monthly.
• Disinfect the garbage can. Germs that grow in your garbage can don’t always stay there. It’s common for plastic liners to leak, allowing waste to collect in the bottom of the can or bin. Then, when someone empties the container and sets the bag on the floor, counter, or chair, bacteria spread to that surface, as well as to his or her hands. Clean and disinfect the garbage can weekly and use anti-bacterial bags.
• Clean the can opener. That little bit of juice or food left on the blade after you open a can invites bacterial growth.
• Change the towels. The average person sheds one million skin cells an hour. Bath towels harbor those cells and their bacteria, and can serve as a terry-cloth Petrie dish if they’re folded and left in a damp bathroom. Hang towels unfolded to let them air dry, and replace them with clean towels after three uses.
• Protect your toothbrush. Every time an open toilet is flushed, a fine mist of fecal matter and bacteria sprays 20 feet in the air. Keep your toothbrush in a drawer or cabinet. You should also sanitize your toothbrush daily by soaking it in peroxide or antibacterial mouthwash. Even though the germs on your toothbrush are your own, they can multiply to enormous numbers between uses.
(Source: Medical News Today; Centers for Disease Control)
The Ohio Department of Development and ABCAP want to remind Ohioans that assistance is available to help with their home energy bills. The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps Ohioans at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines pay their heating bills. Applications for the HEAP program must be received by May 31, 2022.
Just A Thought: “Age is simply the number of years the world has been enjoying you.”