I’m sure that during this holiday season, all of us will be eating foods that are prepared by other hands, whether they be relatives, coworkers, caterers and those in the restaurant business. Most folks are considerate in their food preparation, making sure their hands are sanitized. In order to make hands almost germ free, one should wash them in sudsy, hot water for at least 20 seconds. This washing will ensure the elimination of certain bacteria, such as E-coli, which is usually picked up from the gastrointestinal tract.
I’m sure that you have seen required signs in rest rooms stating, “Employees must wash their hands.” I am really not sure how well this request is adhered to. At this point, if the rest room is not supplied with adequate hot water and soap, beware! What really bothers me are these blowing systems that are used to dry hands after washing them. It is impossible to get the hands completely dry before touching doorknobs to leave the bathroom. You can bet, that your hands can pick up many germs from the door handle.
Food handlers should be made well aware of how contaminated hands can spread to food products. I’m often surprised to observe on television, how the show host handles food with ungloved hands and also never washes them.
I am really also interested during this holiday season in protecting the health of Santa Claus, who might take a taste of the food that is left for him under the tree in thanks for his generosity. If that morsel of food is contaminated and he eats it, he may get into trouble with gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea associated with nausea and vomiting due to E coli contamination. We know that this bug can cause your colon to become irritated, resulting in a dance known as “squeeze and shuffle.” Santa has a great deal of work to do delivering his toys to good boys and girls, and it will be very important to keep him free from this contamination (mom or dad, take heed). If Santa gets sick, it will take more than eight little reindeer to help him deliver the rest of the toys. It will be more than a sleigh ride because he will be slipping and sliding through the snow, trying to hold up his pants.
If you become a victim of food poisoning due to E coli contamination, resulting in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, it is important to control the diarrhea with medication such as, Imodium, which can be purchased over the counter. Take Pedialyte, Gatorade or chicken broth with salt for fluid replacement following heavy vomiting.
I hope all of you who are Sani-Clauses will take heed of this most important advice concerning hand sanitation and allow Santa Claus to do his job on Christmas eve.
For more health tips and access to an online community of physicians and other healthcare professionals visit DrDeas.com/.
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