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Assessing Protocols to Sanitise Hands of Poultry Catching Crew Members

15 July 2013

Comparing different hand sanitisation methods, Canadian research reveals that reducing the level of bacterial contamination on hands before using an alcohol-based gel seems important to ensure effectiveness for highly and moderately contaminated hands. Catching crew members preferred warm water and soap to a degreasing cream.

Catching crew members can heavily contaminate their hands with organic material and they can act as mechanical vector and spread diseases between farms, according to M. Racicot of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and co-authors from the French National Veterinary Institute and the University of Montreal. 

Reporting their work in the journal, Preventative Veterinary Medicine, they explain that hand hygiene is an important issue for the industry as a whole and for human health by reducing contamination risks. Many studies, in human medicine, tend to make hand rub a standard for hand hygiene. However, few studies have tested the effectiveness of hand hygiene products on visibly contaminated hands.

The objective of their study was to evaluate the effectiveness of practical hand sanitisation protocols: water and soap, degreasing cream and hand wipes, all combined with alcohol-based hand gel. The use of alcohol-based gel alone was also evaluated.

For the reduction of coliforms after washing, there was no statistically significant difference between protocols when the initial level of bacterial contamination was low to moderate.

When hands were highly contaminated, the alcohol-based gel alone was less effective than the degreasing cream combined with the alcohol-based gel (p=0.002).

As for the reduction in total aerobic bacteria counts, there was no difference between protocols when the initial level of bacterial contamination was low. The water, soap and alcohol-based gel protocol was more effective than the scrubbing wipes and alcohol-based gel protocol when hands were moderately (p=0.002) and highly contaminated (p=0.001).

All protocols were effective in neutralising Salmonella on hands.

Reducing the level of bacterial contamination on hands before using an alcohol-based gel seems important to ensure effective hand sanitation for highly and moderately contaminated hands, concluded Racicot and co-authors. This can be done by using a degreasing cream or water and soap.

Based on the survey, they added that catching crew members preferred using warm water and soap to a degreasing cream.

Reference

Racicot M., A. Kocher, G. Beauchamp, A. Letellier, J-P. Vaillancourt. 2013. Assessing most practical and effective protocols to sanitize hands of poultry catching crew members. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 111(1–2), 1 August 2013, 92–99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2013.03.014

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

July 2013



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