Listeriosis

Listeria dos and don’ts

 

Listeria is currently one of the biggest discussion points in our communities and how to decontaminate infected surfaces out of fear of consuming infected or contaminated food.

It is always good practice to follow certain rules religiously when it comes to preparing food and feeding your friends and family.

Here are just a few pointers on what to do and look out for when either going to restaurants or just having a home-cooked meal:

 

Germ-free surfaces

When prepping to make a meal, make sure all your kitchen surfaces are clean and disinfected.

Always ensure that you use a surface cleaner that contains a good disinfectant or bactericide or both. After spraying the surface, give it a wipe with a sterilised dish towel or swab and rinse with clean water.

 

Food spillage

Parents always teach children to never eat food which has fallen on the ground and this is in fact not a myth but a reality. The floor is just as important to keep clean. Always add a little bit of bleach to a bucket of water to ensure a clean, germ-free kitchen floor and rinse the floor with clean water after washing with detergents. Always wash and rinse mops, cloths and any cleaning equipment directly after cleaning your floor.

 

The right product

When going to your local store, always ensure that when purchasing disinfectants and bactericides they are clearly marked with the Act 29 registration mark. This mark is a clear indication that the product has been tested and certified by the SABS. If a disinfectant or bactericide is not clearly marked with the Act 29 mark, or any other institutions regulated mark, this means that you are not guaranteed that the product will sterilise or disinfect.

 

Clean hands

Nothing is more important than always keeping your hands clean. Always keep a little container of hand sanitiser and a holder of sanitising wipes in your bag. You can also place a bottle of liquid hand dispensing soap next to each basin in the house, even in the kitchen. It makes it more convenient to wash hands. If you are having a meal at a restaurant, you can use the sanitising wipes to wipe the table surface and that little of bottle of hand sanitiser will come in handy just before you eat.

 

Clean bathroom

Because the toilet and bathroom area is regarded as the most contaminated room in the home, there are a few things you can do to ensure the highest level of sanitising. Place a holder of sanitising wipes and hand sanitiser by the toilet, especially if the toilet is separated from the bathroom. This encourages people to wipe the seat before and after they are done. Always clean with disinfectants and bleach in these areas as germs readily spread within the bathroom area and can easily contaminate other areas.

 

Personal hygiene

If you practice hand hygiene on a regular basis, encourage those around you to as well. Sometimes a little hand sanitiser can be quite handy as a pretty gift for the ladies, especially when you give it in a pretty little cosmetic bag. Never think you can wash your hands too many times. Every time you touch a surface you are re-contaminating your hands. Just beware that it does not trigger an OCD.

 

Refuse and disposal areas

Always disinfect your bins when you change the bags. This ensures that germs left behind from any foods or contaminated refuse, are destroyed.

 

Drainage

When it comes to washing dirty dishes, or even just bathing, there are always germs in the drainage system. Disinfect drains from inside and out every second day to ensure germ-build-up is minimised. This is especially important when you have crawling infants and toddlers who love playing outside.

 

The fridge

Most germs are preserved by a refrigerator rather than being eliminated. A refrigerator just prolongs the growth. To ensure that food is not cross-contaminated, sterilise and disinfect your fridge once a week or at least every two weeks. Ensure that all chemicals are well rinsed off to prevent consuming chemical-contaminated foods.  Empty out perishable foods every week. Always wipe down condiment containers with a sterile cloth or swab before placing it in the fridge. Spills on the sides are the perfect breeding grounds for germs, especially in hot weather. Always place left-over food in the fridge directly after meal-times or meal preparations.

 

Remember

Most germs like warm, damp climates and flourish in these conditions. Always keep rooms open and allow fresh air inside. Open your curtains and windows at every opportunity. Fresh air eliminates odours and damp.  If you have all these little ideas and rules in place you will already be a few steps closer to a more sanitary environment.

*Information sponsored by Angelchem (Pty) Ltd.

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