Washing your hands seems like a simple enough thing to do. A little soap and a little water ought to do the trick, right? So, why does a new study suggest that 97 of Americans do it wrong?
Hand-washing seems pretty simple, but a recent study shows that 97% of the time, we’re still doing it wrong — which can lead to contamination of food and surfaces and result in foodborne illness.
The study from the US Department of Agriculture shows most consumers failed to wash their hands and rub with soap for 20 seconds. That’s the amount of time recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that washing for shorter periods means fewer germs are removed.
“Numerous” study participants also didn’t dry their hands with a clean towel.
According to USA Today, “The observational study, conducted in partnership with nonprofit firm RTI International and North Carolina State University, involved placing 383 participants in test kitchens based in North Carolina and monitoring them through cameras as they cooked dishes including turkey burgers and a chef’s salad.”
The most common mistake? Not washing with soap and water for the minimum 20 seconds. Other bad behaviors included not getting hands wet or failing to use soap.
Inc.com added ,”One remarkable aspect was that, as these participants prepared meals and handled raw meat product, a mere 33 percent even tried to wash their hands when hygiene would deem it necessary.And one final statistic to depress you and remind you that you’re no saint either: More than 40 percent of those who tried to wash their hands didn’t bother to wet them.And a hearty 20 percent or so didn’t bother to, oh, use soap at all.”
Forbes.com put together a short list on how to wash your hands correctly. And before you say, I already know how to do that….keep in mind, 97 out of 100 of us don’t do it correctly!
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Share your thoughts on this new study and its surprising results. Generating meaningful dialogue around the health stories making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!