Cross contamination: the process by which bacteria or other micro-organisms are unintentionally transferred from one substance or object to another, with harmful effect. For example, cross contamination can occur in a commercial kitchen simply by using a knife to skin a chicken, and then used to cut meat. Any bacteria that had been on the chicken would then be transferred directly to the meat.
What happens when someone eats something from a contaminated item or surface? The contaminants will spread quickly and can cause the person to become sick…often quite severely.
Please be aware, cross contamination can be applicable to more than just bacteria. It includes viruses, germs, pathogens, toxins and other contaminants found on a surface and transferred to another (and often these surfaces come in close contact with humans).
We want to do everything in our power to reduce the risk of cross contamination and so we’ve developed a list of our best methods and ways to diminish the probability. Please find our tips below:
#1. Utilize disinfectants: Disinfectants should be used often and on all surfaces that are touched by people (desks, flush valves, water fountains, door handles etc). Use an all purpose cleaner first, and then go in with your disinfectant to ensure all bacteria is removed.
#2. Keep equipment clean: It is very important to clean your tools that you use to clean each day. Equipment such as mops, cleaning cloths, and vacuums are at high risk to collect and spread contaminants they’ve been exposed to.
#3. Floors spread contamination: We touch floors constantly throughout our day. If the floor happens to be contaminated, it can quickly be transferred onto our hands/feet. Ensuring your mops, brooms and vacuums are clean will greatly decrease this chance.
#4. Refrain from using sponges: Sponges can be a breeding ground for cross contamination. As pathogens and bacteria are invisible to the human eye, we are incapable of seeing contaminants that may be on the sponge. When using sponges, use them once or twice until and make use of a new one.
#5. Don’t leave equipment on the floor: As mentioned previously, floors can be a high risk zone to accumulate bacteria. While cleaning, keep your tools tidy and, ideally off the ground, so as to avoid the chances of exposing them to moisture and pathogens that may be on the floor’s surface.
Preventing cross contamination is possible by implementing these simple steps thereby greatly reducing the risk of contaminants being spread on your different surfaces.