Cold and flu season is the one time of year that everyone comes in contact with the Flu virus and has proven to be increasingly dangerous due to different strains have been detected. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), this is caused by mutations of flu strains, and they are causing secondary infections such as sepsis and pneumonia in a very fast period. This can be deadly in some patients. The Restrooms in St. Louis, Missouri certainly were affected this past flu season.
Generally, the flu can cause illness with many symptoms that leave you feeling achy, headache, etc. Historically it has affected the elderly the most, but this past year the flu affected people ranging from teenagers to people in their 60’s and many of them lost their lives to the flu.
Restrooms Harbor Bacteria
The biggest health problem is in public restrooms. Restrooms have been notorious for harboring bacteria due to lack of maintaining a cleaning schedule. Part of the struggle with public bathrooms is the high volume of traffic that many experience throughout a day.
When people are sick, they often don’t stay away from work unless they have to. Because they are adventuring out into public spaces with the flu, public bathrooms are the perfect breeding ground. They stop at these places to blow their nose, cough, use the toilet. This can make the restrooms near and in your office a place where soils and germs build up in between routine cleanings. The result is public health is more at risk of exposure.
The Dangers Of Exposure
When blood vomit, feces, urine, spit or phlegm are seen and left on surfaces in public spaces, extreme caution should be taken. If you are a guest, alert the person at the front desk so the containment can be taken care of quickly. Here are some of the possible germs that you might be exposed to:
- Common cold
- Flu virus
- Hepatitis A, B, C
There are many other illnesses that you can be exposed to, but these are the most common that you’ll run into in public bathrooms. Each one has a different effect on your workers and guests.
What Can You Do About It?
The most common practice is to wash your hands with warm water and soap. If you don’t have soap and water, use hand sanitizer.
Cleaning in public restrooms should be done on a regular basis once per day. In high traffic areas, your restrooms should be cleaned two to three times per day. This is going to vary per each location. If you don’t have staff that can handle the traffic flow, hire a St. Louis Commercial Cleaning company to manage your cleaning schedule.
Differences In Cleaning
The basic strategy of cleaning is to remove soils from surfaces. That is a very simple method to cleaning. Cleaning should be done to low contact surfaces. You might ask: What are low contact surfaces?
Low contact surfaces are:
High Contact Surfaces are:
- Sink handles
- Doors (door handles)
- Appliances in kitchens
Any surface where food is prepared should always be sanitized and disinfected completely. Sanitization of common surfaces like bathroom countertops, faucets, door handles should be done a couple of times a day. Disinfection should be done in kitchens on all surfaces where food will come into contact. This is part of the food code.
When you sanitize a surface, you are killing/reducing the number of bacteria that are present by 99.99%. Sanitizing is great, but it does nothing about viruses and fungus. Sanitizing is better than cleaning, but when you are dealing with food surfaces, you should disinfect also.
Disinfecting a surface means you are killing 100% of an organism. Here’s the real difference between sanitizing and disinfecting. If you have 1 million organisms present, sanitizing will reduce that number down to 1,000 and do nothing with viruses or fungus. Disinfecting will remove 100% of organisms including viruses and fungus.
Getting To The Point
The real point of this article is to help companies understand that when you have public restrooms, you are responsible to the health and welfare of the people that use those facilities. Thus companies in the St. Louis, Missouri region should adopt a cleaning program that includes cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting of surfaces on a regular basis and understand the differences between the three and how to implement them.
When it's time to look for a new cleaning service it may seem like a daunting task. Our FREE pricing guide will help you to determine what a cleaning service should cost for your facility. Here's what's in our guide:
- What factors determine costs
- How to request a fair cleaning quote
- How to compare hidden cost in cleaning
- Rooms and Square footage for cleaning