Warning to wash hands regularly to reduce your chance of flu and food poisoning: Global Handwashing Day (15 October 2017)

Media release: 15 October 2017

Following this year’s high rate of influenza cases the Food Safety Information Council is using Global Handwashing Day on 15 October to remind people to wash their hands correctly.

Rachelle Williams, Council Chair, said that thorough hand washing can not only reduce the 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year it can also protect us from viruses such as the flu.

‘We are encouraging every Australian household, school and workplace to download our handwashing posters, print them out and put them where they are noticeable in kitchens and bathrooms.

‘We have designed 2 posters, one for adults and one for children and, in both cases, we suggest singing ‘Happy birthday to you’ so you can time the 20 second period you need to wash and then dry your hands,’ Ms Williams concluded.

Below are three tips on how to wash your hands correctly:

1.    Wet your hands and rub together well to build up a good lather with soap as the suds help to loosen the bugs. Do this for at least 20 seconds and don’t forget to wash between your fingers and under your nails.

2.    Rinse well under running water to wash away the bugs from your hands

3.    Dry your hands thoroughly on a clean towel for at least 20 seconds – a hand dryer may take a little longer.

Always wash and dry your hands:

  • before handling, preparing and eating food
  • after touching raw meat, fish, shell eggs or chicken
  • after using the toilet, attending to children’s (or others) toiletting and changing nappies
  • after blowing your nose
  • after touching a pet.

Do not touch sores, wounds and cuts when handling and preparing food.

The posters can be downloaded from here together with a range of other material that can be used for Australian Food Safety Week 11 to 18 November 2017.

Media Contact: , Food Safety Information Council, 0407 626 688 info@foodsafety.asn.au