International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information
International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information

July 22nd: Effectiveness of different hygiene procedures in domestic kitchens

Surprisingly few studies have compared the effectiveness of hygienic cleaning under simulated use conditions. This new study by Solveig Langsrud and co workers from NOFIMA, Norway, together with IFH Board member Sally Bloomfield, compares commonly used cleaning methods (with or without disinfection) for food contact and hand contact surfaces in domestic kitchens in Norway. Laboratory models involving cutting boards, tap handles and mobile phones, contaminated with E. coli and Staph.aureus, were used to compare  commonly used dry cloth and water or detergent-based cleaning methods together with new technologies (sprays, single-use wipes, and chlorine-based disinfectants). Commonly used cleaning methods produced a mean log reduction (LR) in contamination of 1.5–2.5.  Efficacy could be improved by drying or including a disinfection step (mean LR 3.1–4.6). The authors conclude that, in many situations, methods commonly used by consumers may be sufficient to hygienically clean surfaces. However, in some situations, such as where there are infected or immune-compromised individuals, or where high risk foods are being handled, hygiene practices producing higher LRs should be recommended. The study shows the importance of using models simulating use conditions to evaluate detergent-based removal practices and determine how and when these procedures need to be enhanced by inactivation processes such as drying and disinfection to ensure that contamination from food-borne pathogens is reduced to acceptable levels to prevent infection transmission.  The study can be found at: Journal of Applied Microbiology 2015;119:582-593.