Cross contamination occurs when bacteria spread between people, food, surfaces and equipment. A common concern in the food, and health care industries, cross contamination also poses a health threat in any environment including homes, schools, shopping malls, offices and other buildings. This becomes a serious problem when you take into account that Americans spend about 90% of their time inside, yet contaminants found indoors can be five times worse than outdoors.

There is no doubt that responsible cleaning practices help avoid cross contamination, thereby minimizing the incidence of illness and disease. Effective cleaning reduces bacteria on equipment and surfaces that people come into contact with every day, such as counters, floors, keyboards, phones and restroom and all touch-points.

Common Causes of Cross Contamination

Probably the most common culprits of cross-contamination are hands, equipment, cloths/rags, and door handles. A common mistake is to clean multiple areas with the same supplies and/or equipment and to store restroom cleaning supplies together with items used in other areas. Cloths, sponges and mops are sources of concentrated bacteria that can cross-contaminate anything with which they come into contact.

Steps to Avoid Cross Contamination

    • Focus on entryways. Use special mats that trap dirt and pollutants to prevent spreading throughout the building.
    • Use micro-fiber dusting cloths and flat mops that outperform traditional dusting and mopping materials by capturing dust and dirt. Clean and reuse for minimal waste.
    • Have color coded cloths that are designated to specific tasks and rooms. this way workers know which cloths to use on counters, floor and dusting. Always have fresh clean hot bucket water
    • For carpets, ensure proper vacuuming, extracting, rinsing and drying. Carpets can be a host for moisture problems and mold growth. Empty vacuum cleaners at the end of shifts or when half full.
    • Keep equipment clean to avoid cross-contamination.
    • Focus cleaning efforts on touch-points: door handles, bright work and other areas where people come in contact with the facility or its fixtures.

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