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Strategic Janitorial Blog

Don't Take a Chance with the 5 Second Rule

We’ve all dropped a chip or other tasty treat on the floor, plucked it up quickly while disclaiming “Five Second Rule” to anyone within earshot, and then popped in our mouth. It’s totally safe, right? Bacteria can’t transfer to the food in just five seconds, right?

Wrong.

Science recently debunked the Five Second Rule. Researchers at Rutgers University tested how long it takes bacteria to transfer from floor to food. They covered four different flooring materials - stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood, and carpet – with the bacterium Enterobacter aerogenes. Enterobacter aerogenes is a kinder cousin of salmonella, a bacteria that is responsible for over one million cases of food poisoning each year. Researchers then dropped a variety of foods, like bread, watermelon, and candy, onto the bacteria covered surface. They let them sit on the surface for different intervals ranging from one second to three hundred seconds.

They did this 2,560 times. Results showed that bacterial transfer occurred at every time interval, with more bacteria transferred the longer that food was on the test surface. The research also found that bacterial transfer occurred more quickly with foods that had a higher moisture content, like watermelon.

Every day your office carpet or flooring comes in contact with bacteria like Enterobacter aerogenes, salmonella, or e.coli. These bacteria are tracked in along with dirt, chemicals, and debris by your employees and customers. They make their way down the hall to your breakroom and offices, where they wait to jump on your food when you drop something. While this isn’t exactly true - they’re not exactly laying in wait for your lunch, don’t take a chance with the Five Second Rule – and don’t risk having dirty floors! Toss dropped food in the trash and call a professional janitorial cleaning service to clean and disinfect your floors!


Four Things to Do For Fall

In Texas, we enjoy summer a little longer than the rest of the country, but it’s not too early to start thinking about fall. Although, if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been thinking about fall since the first day temperatures hit one hundred degrees! You can prepare your business for the shift in seasons by calling in a professional janitorial service to tackle these four fall tasks you should have on your to-do list.

  1. Windows – Take advantage of the warm weather and clean those windows! If your windows or doors are dirty, they leave your customers with a negative impression. It is also important to clean your windows to let light in – especially during the fall and winter when exposure to sunlight is limited because there are less hours of daylight (and you’re in the office for most of them!).
  2. Floor Care – Your cleaning professionals can prepare and protect your hard surface flooring by ensuring that they’re cleaned, polished, and waxed. Waxing protects your floors from wet and muddy weather. Use entry mats to protect your floors and carpeting. We also suggest placing an umbrella stand in your entry or lobby so clients may easily stow umbrellas (and prevent water from dripping on to your floors)
  3. Duct cleaning – Consider having your janitorial service company clean your ducts this fall (and again in the spring!) to clear out any dust or pollen that could affect allergies or aggravate respiratory conditions.
  4. Gutters – Fall is a great time to have gutters cleaned to make sure they’re free from debris or leaves that could cause a clog when it rains. Ask your janitorial service company if they service gutters, or if they could recommend a gutter cleaning company to you.


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