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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!


Good Clean Fun

If you’re in the business of fun and games and own or manage an entertainment venue such as a bowling alley, movie theater, arcade, or concert arena, you know that keeping your facility clean is a monumental task. Maintaining restrooms, keeping concessions clean, and ensuring common areas and seating are up to snuff is a lot for in-house cleaning crews or hourly employees to manage. If you want to make sure your floors aren’t sticky and you have happy customers that will come back, you should consider hiring a professional janitorial service.

Janitorial service companies tackle your toughest cleaning jobs more efficiently than hourly employees who should be focusing on sales and ensuring customer satisfaction. Janitorial services prepare your place for crowds. They will clean, stock, and sanitize restrooms in order to keep them fresh, ready, and protect your patrons’ health. Door handles and handrails also collect germs as customers visit and move through your business. Professional cleaning crews tackle your floors and carpets, and even make sure they’re protected against oil, dirt, and chemicals tracked in by your customers. Janitorial service companies handle your seasonal maintenance to polish and wax floors in foyers and hallways, and deep clean your carpeting to prevent stains.

Professional janitorial service companies also protect your investment by cleaning your venue’s seating including fabric coverings found in movie theaters and concert halls. Cleaning fabric upholstery removes dirt and grime that can build up in threads and make fabric appear dingy and unattractive to guests. Dirt and grime also makes upholstery fabric wear faster.

If you’re considering outsourcing your entertainment venue’s cleaning needs, contact a professional janitorial service for quotes. If your business keeps late hours, make sure you communicate your scheduling needs when searching for a provider. This allows the vendor you choose to understand your schedule, clean behind the scenes, and make sure your customers are having good, clean fun!


Banning the Anti-Bac

The FDA ruled that beginning September 2017, soaps and sanitizers will no longer be able to contain the cleansing agent, Triclosan. Triclosan was removed because it has a negative impact on health and the environment, and contributes to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance has been a concern for decades, but concern increased when an antibiotic-resistant superbug popped up in Pennsylvania early this year.

Many businesses often provide hand sanitizers in high traffic areas for both employees and customers. Hand sanitizers have become popular because they are a quick way to clean up when users do not have access to soap and water, or do not have the time to step away and wash their hands in between customers. Research has found that although these products are intended to kill bad bacteria, they often attract bacteria because their ingredients leave a sticky film on hands that traps germs on the skin. It is recommended that individuals using hand sanitizers wash their hands with soap and water after every four or five times of sanitizer use. Sanitizers kill bad bacteria but also wipe out good bacteria on the skin that are part of the body’s natural defense against germs.

Instead of using hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps, the CDC recommends using plain soap and water, scrubbing hands for twenty seconds (time yourself by singing two rounds of Happy Birthday to You), and using a clean towel to dry hands. Washing hands significantly reduces the spread of germs in the workplace by bacteria that cause illnesses like colds, flu, and norovirus.

Other ways to reduce the spread of germs through your business and protect your health is to hire a professional janitorial cleaning service to clean your business. Professional cleaning companies will disinfect and sanitize high traffic areas and target places where germs live and thrive.


Fall is Coming

Fall means many things - the change of seasons, pumpkin spice everything, and - achoo!

And allergies. Fall brings more than leaves changing color - it brings pollen and other particles that make allergies flair up. Sneezing, sniffling, and coughing happen as a result of seasonal allergies. Sneezing, coughing, and people blowing their noses mean germs and bacteria flying all over your office.

While allergies aren’t contagious, no one wants to be exposed to other people’s germs. To minimize the spread of germs during allergy season, remind employees to cover their mouths when they cough and sneeze, wash hands frequently, and dispose of used tissues properly. You should also take steps to control germs by sanitizing high contact areas like door handles, countertops, and light switches.

While it is hard to control the pollen count, business owners can take steps to minimize allergy aggravation in the office. Changing HVAC filters and making sure ducts and vents are clean and free of dust helps allergy sufferers considerably. Employees can also make a difference by removing paper clutter. A thorough and routine cleaning and dusting schedule managed by professional cleaning crew makes an even bigger impact in battling office allergens.

There are several areas in the office that collect allergens may be overlooked when employees are tidying up. Electronic equipment like computer and cords attract dust and dirt particles. Baseboards and window blinds are also places that can collect dust and trigger allergies.

Carpets and upholstered furniture also harbor allergens. Pollen tracked in from the outside and ends up clinging to carpet fibers - not only does this pollen make carpets appear dirty and dingy - it also making noses run and eyes water. Professional janitorial services companies can remove this pollen and dirt to help minimize allergies and stop the spread of germs.


Hot Tub or Petri Dish? Minimize Health Risks While Maintaining Your Hot Tub.

Hot tubs are a popular way to unwind or soothe sore muscles at a gym. As a result of frequent use, hot tubs can become one of the germiest places in the workout facility.

As people use the hot tub, water can become contaminated. Most facilities have posted signs cautioning against use if an individual is ill, has a rash, or has open cuts or sores, but these warnings are often ignored. If contaminated water is accidentally swallowed, it can cause infections in eyes, ears, and nasal passages. Fecal, fungal, and staphylococcus microbes are often found in hot tub water samples, and can cause serious skin infections. Skin infections are the number one reported side effect of using hot tubs according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Because hot tubs may simply smell of chlorine or appear to be heavily chlorinated, many people believe that hot tubs are germ free. While chlorine does kill most germs, it does not kill all germs. Chlorine treatment also does not sterilize the water in the tub. High water temperatures can speed up the evaporation of chlorine and other sanitizing chemicals, making it important that chemical levels be consistently monitored and maintained in order to ensure a high level of safety.

Gyms and other facilities with hot tubs should have a maintenance and sanitation program in place, or utilize a reputable, professional company to maintain and sanitize the hot tub and its equipment. This maintenance and sanitation program should include draining the tub completely in order to thoroughly sanitize the tub (including interior pipes). The maintenance program should also include the removal of any debris from drains and filters. Finally, a well-managed chemical treatment system should be established and followed at all times in order to minimize the growth of germs and minimize risk.


Would Your Gym Pass a Fitness Test for Cleanliness?

Fitness centers and gyms can be contaminated with germs, especially during cold and flu season. Cold and flu viruses can live on surfaces like free weights, mats, and treadmill handles for minutes to several hours. Other microbes, such as staphylococcus and MRSA can linger much longer.

In many fitness centers, sanitation is frequently left up to the customer. Patrons are expected to wipe down machines post workout. Gyms typically provide sanitizing spray and paper towels for this purpose, and although many people do take a moment to spray down the machine or mat they’ve been sweating on, they may not do correctly or thoroughly.

Because customers don’t always do the best job, it is critical that facility management establish a regular cleaning schedule. Machines, free weights, and other common areas should be wiped down several times a day with paper towels and cleaning solution, or, ideally with pre-soaked antibacterial wipes designed to kill a wide range of germs. Locker rooms and showers also need a thorough sanitizing regimen, and towels need to be washed with hot water and bleach and dried thoroughly.

Some gyms and fitness centers employ a professional janitorial service company to ensure the facility is being cleaned thoroughly, as well as to ensure safety and prevent illness. However, cleaning and sanitation usually falls on facility employees, who may not be properly trained in sanitation and germ prevention. This means that machines, mats, and common areas are likely not being cleaned properly.

Whether you are utilizing employees to clean your facility, or employing a professional janitorial services company, it is important to make sure they are properly trained/licensed, and are maintaining a routine cleaning schedule. Also, be sure they’re covering all areas of the facility – including reception, saunas, and locker rooms.


Outsourcing Your Cleaning

Outsourcing your company’s cleaning service to a professional commercial cleaning company will not only give your business a sparkling appearance; it will save you time, keep you healthy, save you money, and it will allow you to return your focus on your business and your customers.

Save You Time. Why stretch yourself thin (or ask your employees to do double duty) trying to managing your business and clean and maintain your office, building, or warehouse? Typically commercial cleaning services can cover a wide range of tasks such as polishing floors, dusting, and restroom sanitation, and even air vent cleaning. Cleaning service companies are experts at what they do and because of this, they can efficiently handle all aspects of keeping your business clean. You can rest assured that your business is in good hands, and will always have a positive presentation to your customers.

Keep You Healthy. Aside from taking the burden of cleaning off of yourself or your employees, commercial cleaning companies can help give your employees peace of mind. Employees are usually more productive and feel more secure when their workplace is clean and healthy. High quality, professional cleaning services help to eliminate the spread of germs and prevent illnesses, and keep your employees safe, healthy, and in the workplace.

Save You Money. Outsourcing your commercial cleaning needs can save you money, too. Even though there is a cost associated with hiring a cleaning service, you can actually save money in the long run by not having to invest in commercial grade cleaning products, vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, or other professional, commercial grade equipment needed to clean your workplace, because these things are supplied by the cleaning company. By utilizing professionals who are properly trained to operate cleaning equipment, you also minimize the chance that an untrained employee may be injured or your property may be damaged, and thus eliminate potential costly repairs or insurance claims.



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