The International Scientific Forum (IFH) was established in 1997 to develop and promote hygiene in home and everyday life settings based on sound scientific principles.

Find a broad range of up to date information on home and everyday life hygiene including scientific reviews, guidelines, training resources and factsheets etc here. There are materials produced by IFH and materials from other respected sources.

Find a broad range of up to date information on home and everyday life hygiene including scientific reviews, guidelines, training resources and factsheets etc here. There are materials produced by IFH and materials from other respected sources.

Hygiene is for living – not just for COVID

This winter will be difficult for many reasons – but when it comes to hygiene, it will also be different. Whilst we no longer need to comply with “life limiting” behaviours vital to fight a single, highly infectious, virus, it is also vital that we adapt what we have learned from Covid and develop hygiene behaviours that work to protect us against infectious diseases threats that we face ongoing, but also allow us to live a full working and social life. In view of the specific threats we are facing this winter, IFH has produced two short “when, where, how” practical guides showing how to practise hygiene as part of our daily lives to protect against respiratory infections and norovirus.

For more information go to the 20th December press release from the Royal Society for Public Health and IFH entitled:

Protecting our health and the NHS – ‘Tis the season to practise good Hygiene

Hygiene Publications, Reviews, Resources and Downloads

The website is divided into the areas detailed below, where you can browse and search for the information you need. Alternatively you can use the search function to find information on a specific topic within the site.

Scientific Reviews

The latest science and thinking on hygiene-related diseases, home hygiene and hygiene issues.

Scientific Publications

The most recent publications which influence home hygiene policy.


Guidelines, training & educational resources on principles & practice of home hygiene.

Factsheets & Advice

Facts and hygiene advice on specific diseases, hygiene practices and issues.

Consumer Information

Information sources for the public on hygiene and hygiene issues.

Home Healthcare

Information and resources on caring for infected and vulnerable people at home.

Developing and promoting hygiene in home and everyday life to meet 21st Century needs

In recent years, fundamental changes have occurred which highlight the importance of hygiene in our homes and everyday lives in public places. Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic indicate the need for a radical reformulation of frontline hygiene advice – and how it is delivered to the public – to address the infectious disease issues we currently face, not only COVID-19 but also the global issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the ever-growing vulnerable population who have to protect themselves against infection. Central to our work is a new approach to hygiene, based on principles of risk management, which has come to be known as Targeted Hygiene. This forms the basis for developing frontline hygiene policy which meets C21st needs, including the need for sustainable use of the resources needed to deliver hygiene.

The role of hygiene in home and everyday life in tackling antibiotic resistance (AMR)

Hygiene in our homes and everyday lives has a vital role in tackling antibiotic resistance (AMR). Good hygiene contributes in the fight against AMR in two ways, by preventing infection, thereby reducing the need for antibiotic prescribing and preventing person to person spread of infections which are antibiotic resistant.

Are we too clean? - the hygiene hypothesis misnomer

The idea that too much cleanliness and hygiene may be an underlying cause of rising allergies in children has been widely publicised and discussed in recent years. The idea was first put forward in 1989 and was named the “Hygiene Hypothesis”. Although the link between microbial exposures and health is now well established, it is thought that the major underlying cause is lifestyle changes, and that cleanliness and hygiene are unlikely to be involved. This website area contains the latest reviews on this issue and its relationship with the need for prevention of infectious diseases through Targeted Hygiene.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection – what you need to do to protect yourself against infection – and make sure you do not spread infection to others

Advice sheets, blogs and other resources to provide the public with advice and understanding of the lifestyle changes and hygiene measures to adopt to prevent spread of the COVID-19 infection. The information covers the various (and varying) situations in which individuals may find themselves in their home and everyday lives including being infected, self isolated, belonging to a vulnerable group, or working in the community whilst also caring for themselves and others.

SafeConsume is an EU project funded by Horizon2020. The overall objective is to reduce the health burden from foodborne illnesses.

SafeConsume is a 5 year project (2017-2022) involving 32 partners in 14 countries in Europe.

The key aim is to change consumers behaviour to reduce exposure to hazards and decrease risk, through developing effective and convenient tools and products, information strategies, education and inclusive food safety policy.

The Safeconsume project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727580

Restoring public confidence in hygiene is key to behaviour change

One of the barriers which must be overcome if we are to be successful in promoting hygiene behaviour change is the publics confusion about hygiene – what it is and how it differs from cleanliness.​​​​​​​