Practicing Infection Control in the Kitchen

infection controlWhilst most people who are reading an article on this website will be interested in weight loss, it is important that you remember that not all weight loss is a positive thing. For many people, weight loss is borne out of hard work, determination and a carefully controlled diet. However, some people experience unprecedented weight loss because they are suffering from a medical condition. If you feel as though you are losing weight disproportionately quickly and you have noticed other symptoms which may be connected to this, then it is important that you visit your doctor to discuss your medical issues. If you do discover a medical reason behind your weight loss, it is important that you start to practice proper infection control techniques whenever you are around food, so that you do not pass anything on to the people around you. Proper infection control techniques can also help you to get better more quickly. Even though you may feel pleased with your weight loss, you should never revel in weight loss which is associated with a medical condition, because complications related to your illness could make your condition worsen.

Always wash your hands

Even when you are not unwell, you should always wash your hands before you handle any food, and always wash your hands after handling raw foods. Hand hygiene is one of the most basic aspects of infection control, and should be practiced religiously. Failure to wash your hands can spread bacteria from ingredient to ingredient, and could result in people becoming very unwell if they subsequently consume food which contains those germs.

Wipe surfaces

Always wipe down surfaces before and after you cook. Bacteria can multiple rapidly on a surface. If you get germs on a surface, and they are allowed to spread, you could find that you become infected again and again. This can prolong your illness, even if your immune system is beginning to fight your infection. You should use an anti-bacterial or disinfectant solution as part of your cleaning process, as this will help you to get rid of 99% of bacteria on a surface. Wiping with a damp cloth will get rid of grease, food and dirt, but it will not kill the bacteria which is present on a surface.

Garbage Disposal

Dispose of your garbage properly, so that it does not have chance to rot in your home. Moldy food waste can release mold spores into the air, which can be toxic if they are inhaled. The smell of rotting garbage will also attracted a range of vermin, including cockroaches and other insects which can spread harmful bacteria in your home. Take out the garbage regularly from the kitchen as part of your infection control strategy. You should also make sure that the top of your bin is clean (if you have a swing bin) or that the area around your garbage disposal unit is clean. These areas can become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, and may inadvertently transfer onto your hands when using the units.

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Planning for Mold Remediation

before after mold restoration

In the last few years, people have been becoming more and more concerned about mold growth, because the effects of toxic mold are becoming more well known. Mold exposure is known to cause a variety of health symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and other allergic reactions. If you do discover that mold is growing in your building you should limit mold exposure by creating a proper mold remediation plan.

Mold Remediation Planning

In order to create a comprehensive mold remediation plan you need to assess the problem by considering the size of the mold growth and what types of material are damaged. The plan of action that you take may differ depending on what materials are affected. If the mold and moisture problem is extensive you may need to consider relocating occupants of the property until the mold problem has been sorted out. There are potential health risks associated with disturbing mold spores as well as problems which could be associated with debris and disruption at the property. If you have young children, vulnerable adults, or pets living at your home, temporary relocation may be the most appropriate solution whilst you deal with the problems.

Solve the initial problems

Mold growth is usually a symptom of another problem such as a water leak or high humidity. In order to prevent the mold problem from reoccurring, you need to find and fix the other issues. High humidity is often caused by dampness which may be associated with a leak or with rising damp from damaged foundations. Fixing these issues will make the building a less habitable place for mold growth. Once you have solved the leak or damp problem, use a dehumidifier to help to dry the room out as quickly as possible. Ventilation and natural sunlight can also help to dry things out quickly and evenly.

Personal protective equipment

Once you start to tackle the mold itself it is very important that you wear the correct personal protective equipment. Whenever you are tackling mold you should always wear boots, rubber gloves, protective goggles and a face mask. This equipment will stop your skin from coming into contact with the toxic mold and will prevent you from inhaling mold spores. Wearing the correct personal protective equipment can prevent you from becoming ill due to mold exposure.

Choosing the right cleaning method

There are a number of different mold remediation methods, and choosing the right one is very important. If you are doing your own remediation you are most likely to use the damp cloth method. However this method is only usually effective on hard, inorganic surfaces. Other methods such as a wet vacuuming and HEPA vacuuming are most likely to require the assistance of a professional mold remediation & water damage expert. You should also be aware that one of the mold remediation methods which you may need to use is full disposal of materials. You may have to discard items completely, or they could continue to release mold spores back into the room.

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