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01 June 2012

Hand hygiene is crucial at street parties

People celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee should consider the hand hygiene implications when holding a street party, says SCA product and segment manager Charlotte Branwhite.

She says the potential for contamination at such parties is huge. “In most situations where people get together over a meal they will be near a kitchen where they can wash and dry their hands,” said Charlotte.

“But at a street party they will have to make a conscious effort to go back inside to do so.

“Added to that there will be people meeting for the first time and shaking hands, then serving out food and eating it. If they eat items such as barbecued burgers, hot dogs, finger foods or sandwiches they may contaminate the food.”

Other potential causes of contamination could occur when people bring out their garden chairs and tables to set up on the street.

“These may have lain dormant in the garage or shed where they will have gathered dirt, or they could have been left out in the garden and become contaminated with bird droppings,” said Charlotte. “So it is crucial that everyone washes their hands before serving and eating the food.”

She recommends that each street party has a nominated handwash station – perhaps a washroom in a centrally-placed house. “It is also a good idea to supply an antibacterial sanitiser so that people can freshen their hands in between handwashes,” she said.

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