A big chomp of pizza – and 3.971 million germs

Pizza girl
Are you having 3.971 million germs with that?

Yum!

Eating with your fingers.

Is anything better?

You bet.

Eating with your fingers AFTER YOU’VE WASHED THEM.

Germs for sure

Because however nice your chosen favourite is – it’s not worth the tummy cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea that visits you at 2.00 in the morning.

E. coli, norovirus – take your pick.

It could be any one of thousands bacteria or viruses on your fingers at any one time.

Collected through your morning until now…

Off the money in your purse, your Oyster card, the STOP button on the bus, the door handle of the coffee shop, the face of your mobile, the front door to your office, the lift call button, your computer on switch, the keyboard on your desk, the mail in your In-tray, your desk itself, your office phone, the photocopier start switch, the door to the loo, the tissue paper you use there, the flush handle, the bag of doughnuts for coffee break, the parcel from the printing company, the felt-tip pens for the update board, your face, your lipstick for touch-up, the conference room table, the overhead projector, the overhead slides from sales, the meeting microphone on/off, the stairway banisters, the lunch-time news-sheet, the pizza-joint window choosing while you queue in the street, the bag they put it in to take back to your desk…

Er, excuse us.

Where was “wash your hands” in all that?

Our minds go blank

Don’t look so surprised. Most of us forget, even though we’re sticklers for clean.

Yet everything we touch, every second of every day, is covered in viruses and bacteria.

We are too. Billions of them on our skin and clothing.

Billions more inside us too. Over 6 billion in our mouths, more than the number of people on Earth. More than 100 trillion in our gut – partners in helping us digest.

So when we pick up that pizza with our fingers, there’s plenty stuff for us to swallow that we’re not supposed to.

Yes, we’ve got bacteria inside us already – but the right ones, they’re supposed to be there. And most of the time, even the wrong ones are OK – our immune systems are too strong to let them take hold.

But the stuff on our fingers is dodgy. Often in quantities big enough to give us grief. And often really yucky stuff we’d rather not know about. Like if you didn’t wash your hands when you went to the loo, there could be poo on there.

Hold it!

Don’t take that bite!

Put it down and wash your hands first.

Be safe.

And don’t reckon you can blame the pizza company if you come down with something.

Those pizza oven are way too hot for germs to survive – 800°F, or even more.

And nobody touched your super-size slice. Straight off the pizza shovel, gloved hands on the cutter wheel, into the box, and bagged into your own hands.

Wash your hands and everything’s hunky. Quattro stagioni perfetto.

Forget and take a chance – you could be in hospital sooner than you think.

More than 800 people die from norovirus every year. More than 5,000 from e.coli. Add c.difficile, Delhi Belly and rotavirus – the numbers jump to over 80,000.

Don’t be one of them.

A wrong-way encounter with any of these nasties will be more than you can chew.

After you with the soap.

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 16 November 2018 @ 5:54 am

Originally posted on 16 November 2018 @ 5:54 am

Fighting disease and infection takes serious firepower

Submarine attack
Serious about destroying germs

Soap and water is a first line of defence, right? Clean hands are critical to getting rid of germs.

Absolutely indisputably so.

Except soap and water doesn’t kill germs. It merely removes them – washes them away down the plughole.

Because all it is is water (H2 O) and sodium stearate (C18 H35 Na O2). Clever stuff for separating dirt and stuff from skin – but way underpowered at zapping germs dead.

And washing your hands only protects… your hands.

But viruses and bacteria surround us all the time – hands, body, face, mouth. They’re even inside us.

Most of the time we’re safe enough. Until the heavies show up: MRSA, c.difficile, salmonella, campylobacter – the usual suspects. Wash your hands of those, they’re still clinging on everywhere else. Murderers, if you give them half a chance.

Remember your hospital swab tests? In your mouth, your nose and your groin. Still not good enough is it? Because pathogens are up in the air too. Billions and billions of them. Wash them off, they’ll settle right back again. A never ending process.

Killing germs takes real power. And fortunately you’ve got it readily enough to hand – that amazing stuff from the Nineteenth Century, hydrogen peroxide.

How powerful is it? You’ve heard of peroxide blondes? This is the stuff that changes hair colour. Super-bleach, hyper-stripper, and powerful oxidiser.

Oxidiser – hold that thought.

H2 O2, like water with extra oxygen.

Oxygen powered. From ὀξύς, the Greek word for acid. The same stuff that we breathe. The same potent substance that attacks our bodies every second we’re alive, requiring our skin to regrow itself every 27 days. It burns by shoving oxygen atoms at things that come in contact with it.

It’s super powerful too. Back in the day, the Royal Navy built two experimental submarines powered by hydrogen peroxide. Called the Explorer-class, they were super-fast boats, with a speed of nearly 27 knots underwater on just one turbine.

Trouble was, at the super-concentration they were using it at, the stuff was unstable. Navy wags took to calling it the Exploder-class. Amazingly powerful, and only replaced when nuclear power came along.

That kind of oxidiser.

Now imagine that going up against C. difficile, MRSA, SARS, salmonella or E. coli. Out in the open – floating in air, on the skin, or on high-traffic contact surfaces – it is vulnerable and defenceless. It doesn’t have the human body to protect it.

Against a fine mist spray of hydrogen peroxide, there is only one outcome. The pathogens are ripped to pieces and cease to exist. All of them, not just one type. And the room is sterile. Not a source of infection anywhere.

Until one of us humans walks in, dragging a cloud of new microbes along with us.
But better protected than we ever were with soap and water – though of course, that is still necessary.

So the story continues.

We dish the dirt on hot water and elbow-grease

Anguished cleaner
Rub and scrub all you like – clean isn’t clean until you’ve got rid of the germs – otherwise what are you cleaning for?

It doesn’t work, does it? Clean, but covered in germs. Micro-dirt.

Polished spotless, but crawling with e. coli. Or campylobacter. Or staphylococcus aureus.

One of them nasties that makes you very ill.

Because you can’t see germs. Too tiny.

Get it right, or not at all

They’re there all right though. Unless the water is really hot.

Above 60⁰C at least. And immersed for at least 5 minutes.

Too hot for your hands. Or your patience.

Mindlessly scrubbing – and getting nowhere.

Oh sure, the dirt goes. But not the germs.

Though soap will get rid of 99% of them, if you’re thorough enough.

As long as you actually use it. Not just a rinse.

Or unless you use bleach.

And for an effective contact time. No quick dab and wipe-off.

10 minutes or more to be sure.

At a good concentration too. Not diluted to nothing because you can’t stand the smell.

At least 10 : 1 because otherwise the fumes are toxic.

And then of course, you’ve got to rinse it off afterwards. Bleach attacks plastics and sensitive surfaces.

Like your hands – and the lining of your nose.

So yes, visible dirt gone – and around 99.9% of the germs. Clean, sort of.

Not good enough

OK round the house, maybe. But not if you’re meticulous.

Or looking after sick people – or trying to stop them getting sick in the first place.

And how about the thing you’re using to scrub with? The sponge or scouring cloth?

Check that for germs too – because chances are, it’s full of them. The worst ever.

Not to mention the sink you might be scrubbing in.

Regularly cleaned, is it? Regularly disinfected?

Bet anything you like, it’s dirtier than your toilet. And how much food prep do you do in there everyday?

OK, so how about steam clean? If the water’s not hot enough, blitz it with heat.

Uh huh. For at least 30 minutes at 121oC.

That’s CONTINUOUS, right? Not hosing around and momentary exposure.

Plus there’s how you’re going to apply elbow grease while you do all that.

Scalding hot and not able to touch anything.

Oh, and making sure you do all the cracks and crevices too. All the hard to reach places.

A schlep, isn’t it?

With a pretty good chance of not doing the job completely.

Dirt gone, yes. But not the germs.

Stop messing about

Had enough?

Time to switch to hydrogen peroxide. Ionised into a mist so it reaches everywhere.

Electrostatically charged, so it actively grabs at germs and holds them till dead.

Two minutes exposure tops, but usually less than that. Around 40 minutes to cover a whole room.

All surfaces, all air space, all nooks and crannies – everything.

Then you’re done, no scrub or rub.

Dirt gone and germs too – 99.9999% destroyed. Down to 1 in a million.

Stops you messing around with hot water – and elbow-grease.

No contest.

Picture Copyright: BDS / 123RF Stock Photo