It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also one of the most germ-filled. The Christmas holiday attracts some of the biggest crowds at shopping malls and shopping centers. These holiday shoppers are bringing more than their Christmas lists – they are also bringing flu virus, E. coli, staph and other bacteria that can make you and your guests sick.
From escalator handrails, to bathroom faucets, to food court tables and other high touch areas, it’s important provide as clean an environment as possible to combat high traffic crowds. Microfiber cloths, especially in food court areas, are proven to remove more dust, allergens and bacteria than their cotton rag counterparts. The microfiber cloths actually lift and trap particles in their fine fibers, but still require regular washing to maintain their efficiency. Germs like influenza can survive on surfaces for hours so it’s important to use products that are EPA-registered to kill germs of most concern. However, sanitizing a surface will remove 99.9% of all bacteria on inanimate surfaces, but will not remove viruses or fungi. That why it’s important to use a 3-step process to regularly clean, disinfect and sanitize high touch surfaces.
While washing hands with soap and water is still the most effective way to reduce microbes on the hands of employees and visitors, unfortunately bathroom sinks are rated as the #1 most germ-filled area in the bathroom. Bacteria, including E. coli, fester on the sink faucet and handles because people touch those surfaces right after using the toilet, explains panelist Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona. Providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will also help keep employees and visitors healthy.
This holiday season, help keep your employees and visitors jolly, merry and healthy.