Efficacy of removing bacteria and organic dirt from hands: a study based on bioluminescence measurements for evaluation of hand hygiene when cooking

Octavian Augustin Mihalache, Daniela Borda, Corina Neagu, Paula Teixeira, Solveig Langsrud, Anca Ioana Nicolau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of dirt removal (bacteria and organic matter) of several hand-cleaning procedures. The results from the hand hygiene experiment indicated that washing hands with warm water and soap for 20 s is the most effective method investigated when hands are either dirty or greasy. Even if not proper washing, rinsing under running water for 5 s is a cleaning procedure that may significantly reduce the probability of cross-contamination, as it removes 90% of the hands' dirt. Although less effective than water and soap, the usage of antibacterial wipes was significantly more effective than wet wipes, indicating that they are a better choice when water and soap are not available. The results of this study enable us to inform consumers about the effectiveness of hand-cleaning procedures applied in their homes when cooking. Moreover, it can make consumers understand why, during the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities recommended washing hands as a preventive measure of infection and using an anti-bacterial hand gel or wiping hands with an antimicrobial wipe if water and soap are not available.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8828
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Cleaning
  • Greasy hand
  • Rinsing
  • Soap
  • Washing
  • Wipe

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