In a recent study of germs in schools by NSF International, you would be horrified at the germ comparison in several different areas in the schools monitored. We are bringing this information to your attention so you can make sure your school is taking all sanitary measures to keep the spread of germs to a minimum. It is always important to see where we can improve and then take action to do better.
At the bottom of the list with least amount of germs were animal cages, student’s hands, keyboards and toilet seats. Yes toilet seats were at the bottom of the list. In you think about it, your bottom and back of legs are shielded by you pants and underwear all day long. So the top of the seat where you press your bottom/legs should be pretty clean. Not to mention our perception of it being the dirtiest so we would tend to pay more attention to cleaning the toilets. Believe it or not, keyboards ranked low in the schools tested by the NSF. They were doing an exceptional job at wiping down and sanitizing keyboards and cleaning animal cages regularly. They also must do well in teaching kids to wash their hands appropriately. Washing for 20 seconds at least helps to remove most germs.
In the next section, hot/cold water faucet handles and cafeteria plates and reusable plastic trays were getting up there in germs. First the faucet handles are always germy because you touch them before you get to wash your hands. So the best way to eliminate this problem is to get automatic faucets. In the event, it is not possible to get automatic faucets, be sure to properly clean the faucet handles. The other thing you might want to try is using the Kaivac No Touch Restroom Cleaning Machine. Once you get into a routing with this machine, you will be disinfecting the entire bathroom every day properly. You can read more here.
Now let’s not overlook, the toilet seat has less germs on it then the plate you eat off of. That’s kind a gross. I think we take for granted our perception plates, utensils, and trays are clean. Warewashing is important when using reusable plates, trays and utensils. So what kind of warewashing system are you using in your kitchen? Are you following FDA guidelines? The FDA has specific regulations on food service sanitization between how to dry trays, utensils, etc to how frequently you need to drain and refill the sink during washing, and so forth. We need to ensure the items we are eating off of are truly sanitized appropriately to keep our kids and staff safe. Download the FDA 2017 Food Code Manual.
And reigning in at #1 and #2 are…. You guessed it the water fountains in the classrooms and cafeteria. Kids are constantly getting drinks at the water fountain. Between their hands touching the buttons and their mouths being so close to the spigot, it is no wonder these are the germiest places. So how often are you paying attention to and sanitizing/disinfecting your water fountains? Making sure you are using a safe, kid friendly disinfectant is smart as well. You can read more about safe disinfectants here.
There is also another way to cut down on germs by installing new water fountains. These special fountains have a bottle filler section where kids can put their drinking bottle under a 2nd spigot and fill their personal drinking bottle. If more kids bring their own drinking bottles, less will use the public part of the drinking fountain thus creating less germs. Either way you should be sanitizing/disinfecting your drinking fountains.
Remember knowing where we fall short gives us the opportunity to improve. If you need a professional to come out and review your cleaning processes, feel free to contact us any time.