Personal Hygiene

When to wash hands

ome germs can stay alive on our hands for up to three hours and in that time they can be spread to all the things we touch – including food and other people. So wash your hands regularly throughout the day and especially at these times:

Before:

Some germs can stay alive on our hands for up to three hours and in that time they can be spread to all the things we touch – including food and other people. So wash your hands regularly throughout the day and especially at these times:

  • Preparing food
  • Eating
  • Caring for the sick; changing dressings, giving medicines
  • Looking after babies or the elderly
  • Starting work; especially if you are a food handler or health professional
  • Putting in contact lenses

Between:

  • Handling raw foods (meat, fish, poultry and eggs) and touching any other food or kitchen utensils

After:

  • Handling raw foods, particularly meat, fish, and poultry
  • Going to the toilet
  • Touching rubbish/waste bins
  • Changing nappies
  • Caring for the sick, especially those with gastro-intestinal disorders
  • Coughing or sneezing, especially if you are sick
  • Handling and stroking pets or farm animals
  • Gardening-even if you wear gloves
  • Cleaning cat litter boxes
 

Did you know?

The number of germs on fingertips doubles after using the toilet. Yet up to all half of all men and a quarter of women fail to wash their hands affer they've been to the toilet!