All posts by Barry

Handwashing and Food Safety at the Ballpark

Late summer and early fall are great times to go to a ball game. If you’re planning a trip to the ballpark, you may want to do some research before you decide to grab a bite to eat during the game.

Taste preferences aside, the main issue seems to be food handling within sports venues. UCLA Professor and board member of the Academy of Food Law & Policy Michael Roberts says, “The real risk, it seems to me at the ballpark, is the handling of food. That’s where you’ve got handlers cooking the food, handing it out, managing refrigeration and heating.” Roberts indicates local level authorities– county inspectors, for instance– are key to ensuring quality and safety measures are followed by those handling the food.


Measures are in place, of course, such as the requirement in every state for foodservice workers to wash their hands after using a restroom. However, a fire-safety law requiring doors to open inward rather than outward often results in recontamination when those who have just washed their hands have to pull a door handle to exit the restroom. With more businesses moving away from disposable paper towels (which could be used to open the door), extra precautions should be taken before the workers handle food after using the restroom. One common sense move is to ensure hands are washed in the food-handling area, even if hands were recently washed in the restroom, before handling food.


If baseball is your thing, Sports Illustrated has created a list of 2017 MLB Ballpark Food Safety Rankings.


Whatever your favorite sports event happens to be, if you get food to eat at the ballpark, be sure to wash YOUR hands before you eat!


To help your local foodhandlers brush up on proper, effective hand washing techniques, we recommend Brevis Glitterbug products, including GlitterBug Potion Disclosing Lotion, GlitterBug Hand and Nail Scrub Brush, and the GlitterBug Handwash Instruction Manual.




Tippy Taps—a simple and economic handwashing station

Have you heard of Tippy Taps? A Tippy Tap is a simple and economic handwashing station often used in developing countries without reliable access to a piped water supply.


Easily constructed from everyday objects, a Tippy Tap allows for proper and effective handwashing in the most rural of areas, and doesn’t waste water.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommendations on how to construct and maintain a Tippy Tap.


Here’s a quick video showing one way to make and use a Tippy Tap:



For more tools to help with effective handwashing in your school, home, or workplace, visit





#ProtektLittleHands creatively shows how little hands and hygiene can co-exist

Godrej protekt, a range of hand hygiene products in India, recently created a video that shows how children love exploring the world with their hands.
And because kids will be kids, Godrej protekt started a hashtag campaign: #ProtektLittleHands.

Watch the spot: 


The video shows a child singing a catchy tune, and it all comes together in an adorable and memorable short film.

Sunil Kataria, business head India & SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd., speaks of the#ProtektLittleHands initiative in this manner:

“Kids these days are inquisitive, enthusiastic and unstoppable. You can’t control them from exploring the world around them and in the process getting their hands dirty. And we know dirty hands mean lots of germs. Protekt believes that parents should encourage their kids to step out of home and explore, as it plays an important role in their development. This thought formed the base of our new campaign #ProtektLittleHands, a campaign which encourages kids to explore all those things which makes them wonder without thinking about getting dirty or worrying about germs. Godrej has always been a conscious brand that is committed to consumer’s health and over all benefit. As a thought leader in the category, we want to bring about a behavioral change and promote a healthy habit of keeping your hands clean and germ free.”

Are you wondering how YOU can keep little hands clean? Check out these GLITTERBUG KITS on!

Clean Hands, Clean Slate



We know the benefits handwashing has when it comes to protecting us from disease. But can cleaning our hands be connected with cleaning our minds?


Two researchers from the University of Toronto conducted four experiments and found a connection with cleaning one’s hands and a shift in goal pursuit.


Ping Dong, one of the researchers, explains, “People have multiple goals to pursue in their life and sometimes some of the goals may be fruitless. But people often feel it’s hard to give up old goals and pick up new goals so maybe physical cleansing can help people shift their goal pursuits effectively.” In other words, when people have a nagging goal they feel they just can’t let go, the best way to wash their hands of the problem may just be . . . washing their hands.


In the study, groups of undergraduate students were primed to bring their attention to particular goals; those groups were divided into two categories, one of which used a hand wipe. Those who used the hand wipe were found to find more importance in any goals primed following the hand cleansing process, as opposed to the goals brought up before the cleansing.


The mental process here illustrates that physical cleansing functions in a realm of psychological separation. Simone Schnall of Cambridge University says, “It’s important in the sense that it shows that physical cleansing can serve as a ‘psychological reset button,’ as it were, that operates on a very general level.”


The next time you wash your hands, take note of how it changes your frame of mind, and maybe even your to-do list.



Handwashing as a Protection for Gardeners



Attention gardeners! New research shows that washing your hands after gardening can help protect you from a common but dangerous strain of Legionnaires’ disease.


Legionnaires’ is a severe form of pneumonia, and those most at risk are older adults, smokers, and people with weakened immune systems. Most people with Legionnaires’ disease have contracted it by inhaling a bacteria called legionella. Untreated, the disease can be fatal.


Legionella longbeachae is the culprit strain in this case, a bacteria found in soil and compost products (homemade compost excluded), according to a study out of the University of Otago in New Zealand.


“We recommend gardeners avoid breathing in compost or potting mix, by opening bags away from the face and keeping it close to the ground when moving it around. Also, always wash compost/potting mix off hands before putting them near the face,” says epidemiologist and Associate Professor Patricia Priest.


Further research is needed for more conclusive information, but in the meantime, it’s important to remember that washing your hands after gardening is a smart thing to do, even if you’ve been wearing gloves.



Hand Hygiene and Travel


Travel is a part of life. Some travel out of necessity for work, others for enjoyment, relaxation, or adventure. Whatever your reasons for traveling might be, we can all agree that unexpected interruptions can make for stressful situations of what would have otherwise been a pleasant experience.

While some of what happens while traveling is out of our hands, there are steps we can take to prepare for a seamless trip. Planning ahead can save money and stress. Travel insurance can provide peace of mind. Bringing along a pillow or book can provide the comfort or distraction you seek. And because getting sick while traveling can be miserable, make sure to pay attention to the cleanliness around you.

Avoiding germs during air travel might seem impossible when you consider how many people are spending a few hours together in an enclosed space. You never know who around you might be sick, or the health of the people who just took a flight in what is now your seat. Research has shown the spots to be aware of are the seatback tray table, the seatback pocket, the seatbelt buckles, and the overhead air vent. Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser, recommends using alcohol-based wipes on each of those surfaces before touching them. He also recommends washing your hands frequently with clean, hot water and soap (which may be more feasible in the airport rather than on the plane).

Whether you’re making plans for spring break or looking ahead to a summer family reunion, make sure to do everything you can to stop germs from traveling with you. Pack the wipes, pack the hand sanitizer, and plan for clean-up stops in restrooms along the way.


**For a quick refresher course on the most-effective way to use hand sanitizer, see our 45-second video about GlitterBug Gel.



Resolving to Practice Good Hand Hygiene



Did you make any resolutions for the new year? January is almost over, so let’s check in: how are those resolutions going for you? If the mere thought of it made you slide down in your seat a little bit, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, 41 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions, but only 9.2 percent feel they’ve been able to be successful in keeping their resolution.

The good news is, while it’s a trendy tradition to resolve to make improvements at the beginning of the new year, it’s never too late to begin to make positive changes. Of the resolutions mentioned in the survey, the most common types were those related to self-improvement. Health-related goals are at the top of the list. So if you’re looking for a quick way to be successful in sticking to your resolutions, here’s one of the easiest and most important things you can do: resolve to practice good hand hygiene.

As we’ve heard from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ‘Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.’ When you avoid contacting and spreading illness, you’re able to tackle those other resolutions (like getting to the gym, right?). Make a family or workplace goal to wash hands regularly so it becomes a habit. Review proper hygiene methods with GlitterBug Gel and GlitterBug Potion.

Healthy living begins with small changes made daily. Commit today to practice good hand hygiene, enjoy better overall health, and move on to those other goals that lead to a better life (and success in keeping resolutions!). Make this new year happy and healthy!



Help for Dry Hands

Dry hands

Have you noticed your skin getting more dry as the winter weather rolls in? Do you have cracks on your hands or fingers? If so, you’re not alone.


“As the seasons change, the environment for the skin is changing. The humidity level is changing,” explains Indy Chabra, a dermatologist at Midlands Clinic in Sioux City, South Dakota.


Xerosis (or dry skin) is caused from a loss of too much water or oil in skin. Many factors contribute to xerosis, including age, skin diseases (like eczema), frequent hand-washing, certain medications, and winter weather.


For healthy winter skin, apply moisturizer within five minutes of showering, and also before bedtime. A ceramide-based moisturizer (recommended by many dermatologists) can effectively be absorbed to moisturize your skin, but it may take up to seven days to see and feel it working.


When washing your hands (or any other part of your body), use lukewarm water and a gentle soap, so as to not dry your skin. Try a hand cream rather than a lotion; apply and let it absorb rather than quickly rubbing it in. (As always, with any soap or moisturizer, if irritation and/or discomfort occur, seek out the care of a health professional.)


Humidifiers can help air in homes from becoming too dry, contributing to the effect of winter weather on your skin.


Remember to take the simple, daily steps you can to clean and protect your dry skin.



Free image provided by Pexels located at:

Time for Effective Handwashing

Do you know how long it takes to effectively wash your hands? It’s not something we often think about in our day-to-day routine, but for those who wash their hands as a critical part of their careers, it’s a good idea to pass along a reminder.

The CDC recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds, which is about the time it takes to hum the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice.

Though it’s important for everyone to wash their hands, those who work in health care or food industries have a crucial responsibility when it comes to hand hygiene.

The GlitterBug Handwash Timer can help to ensure employees are aware of the time it takes– and the time they’re taking– to wash their hands in a busy workplace. It can also keep kids on-task and help them not rush through the process.

Whether you use a timer, or a trick like singing a song or counting to yourself, be sure to take the time you need to effectively wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs and sickness.


GlitterBug Handwash Timer



Shigellosis Outbreak

An outbreak of Shigellosis in Michigan has caused state and county health officials to call on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for help.

Hand washing


Shigellosis is a highly contagious gastrointestinal disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella (shih-GEHL-uh). It’s transmitted by consuming food, water, or other beverages contaminated with as little as a microscopic amount of contaminated fecal matter. Most people infected experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, usually lasting five to seven days.

In Michigan’s Genesee and Saginaw counties, 177 cases were reported between March 1 and October 26. At least 27 have been hospitalized, and no related deaths have been reported so far. Many are suspicious of the tainted city water supply in Flint as being linked to the outbreak.

To help prevent the spread of this disease, public health officials recommend thorough and frequent handwashing.

Genesee County Health Division Director Suzanne Cupal explains, “Some germs like Shigella only take a small amount to make you ill. This in an opportunity to remind everyone that handwashing should be a healthy habit you practice every day. It’s critical after you’ve diapered, used the bathroom, and before you cook food. We want everyone to make handwashing a healthy habit that everybody does regularly. Use soap, and rub hands together for at least 20 seconds. The friction with the foam is what’s getting the bacteria off your hands.” Cupal also directed that any hand sanitizer used should contain at least 60% alcohol.

Wondering what some of the biggest offenders are for spreading germs? Check out this video:



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