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Continued: How to combat germs that surround us everyday

  • Article by: ALEXIA ELEJALDE-RUIZ , Chicago Tribune
  • Last update: March 27, 2013 - 4:57 PM

To clean: Clean off visible soil first, then wipe with sanitizing wipes. The surface must stay wet for 30 seconds to kill 99.9 percent of germs, Duberg said.



Shopping cart

The dirt: Exposed to food and infants, as well as birds in the parking lot, shopping carts are dirtier than many other public surfaces. Coliform bacteria were detected in 72 percent of 85 shopping carts sampled in a study. Children have been found to be at higher risk of salmonella infection when riding in a cart, Gerba said.

To clean: Carry sanitizing wipes with you and wipe down the handle and the basket where kids tend to sit. Avoid rubbing your face, and wash your hands afterward.




The dirt: Janitors rarely touch your personal space, so if you don’t clean it, no one will.

To clean: Use sanitizing wipes to wipe every surface of the keyboard (use cotton swabs to get between the keys) and mouse and all around your workstation. Do it at least weekly, or more if you are sick or other people use the computer.



Cutting board

The dirt: Raw meat and chicken can make cutting boards a dangerous source of cross-contamination if they’re not cleaned properly.

To clean: For wooden boards, scrub with hot soapy water to remove soil, then do it again to kill bacteria, Duberg suggests. Plastic boards can go in the dishwasher or be soaked in a 10 percent bleach (which must then be rinsed off with soapy water) or 10 percent vinegar solution.



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