Preventing MRSA Using Hand Washing
Return to Food Safety
MRSA stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Staphylococcus
Aureus is a common bacterium that has developed the ability to survive treatment
with antibiotics. It was first discovered in 1961 in hospitals in the United
Kingdom. It is now found worldwide.
Hand washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of
communicable diseases such as MRSA. Proper handwashing is easy to learn. Here
are some tips on how to wash your hands correctly to prevent the spread of
- Lather with soap and water.
- Wash by rubbing vigorously with soapy water the front and back of your
hands, between the fingers and under your nails for at least 10 seconds.
- Rinse well under warm running water.
- Dry them completely with a clean towel.
- Use a clean paper towel to turn off the water, open the bathroom door and
then throw it away.
Antibacterial gels can be used when soap and water are not readily available.
Although these gels are effective in killing germs on the hands, they are not
meant to replace soap and water. To use antibacterial gels correctly:
- Apply about a teaspoon of the alcohol-base gel on the palm of one hand.
- Rub all over both hands, making sure you rub the back, front, and fingernail
areas of both hands.
- Let the gel dry (about 30 seconds).
Source: Centers for Disease Control