Global Handwashing Day

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Global Handwashing Day – a recipe for good hand hygiene

15 October is Global Handwashing Day, an annual opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of proper handwashing habits to help prevent the spread of infection, reduce sickness and save lives.

This advocacy day has been held since 2008 with different themes each year. ‘Clean hands – a recipe for health’ is the 2018 theme, focusing on the links between handwashing, food and the importance of making handwashing a part of every meal.

To celebrate this year’s Global Handwashing Day, we have created a series of targeted and engaging awareness toolkits, which provide the recipe for good hygiene for offices, food businesses and schools.

Why is Global Handwashing Day important?

Hand hygiene may not be new, but it is essential.

Hands are a natural breeding ground for disease-causing germs; in fact they are one of the principal carriers.

Our hands are usually the host to a variable but large number of microorganisms, most of which are harmless, some are beneficial and a minority can be infectious, leading to the cause and spread of diseases.

Nearly 80% of infections are spread by hand, so encouraging good hand hygiene behaviours is an effective way to stop germs spreading. The CDC recommends at least 20 seconds to scrub your hands thoroughly with soap, but as this video shows, it can take 60 seconds or longer to remove most of the bacteria from your hands.


The recipe for good hand hygiene

For this year’s Global Handwashing Day, we have created a series of targeted awareness toolkits which provide the recipe for good hygiene for offices, food businesses and schools.

Simply click on the relevant section below to download your toolkit!>

For Offices

An office setting is the ideal environment for germs to spread and poor hand hygiene is often the biggest cause of office illness. 1 in 4 office workers don’t wash their hands after using the washroom and may be unaware how easily they can transmit potentially harmful germs as a result. Encouraging good hygiene habits within the office can help reduce the risk of cross-contamination and reduce illness.

For Food Businesses

Contaminated hands can transfer viruses to 14 other subjects, so food handler personal hygiene is essential in preventing the spread of germs within food premises and to food. It is important for management to establish and then maintain a positive general, personal and hand hygiene culture, which begins with having a strong understanding of hygiene principles.

Food Business Hand Hygiene Toolkit

Guidance posters to raise awareness of good hand hygiene

For Schools

The simple act of washing hands can reduce the risk of getting a stomach bug as much as 47%. For children, understanding the importance of good hand hygiene is essential. School plays an intrinsic part in developing learnt behaviours and as key role models teachers can help play an important part in teaching children about personal hygiene from an early age.

How dirty are children’s hands?

Read about our new research into family hand hygiene and the impact of good hand hygiene practices

School Hand Hygiene Toolkit

Educational teacher packs and fun posters to encourage children to wash their hands

Download the toolkit



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