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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!


Reasons to think twice about Outsourcing Commercial Cleaning

If you haven’t ever utilized a professional cleaning service for your Fort Worth business, it can be easy to underestimate its benefits. These reasons may make you think twice about outsourcing your commercial cleaning needs:

1. First Impressions

If your business environment is dirty, dusty, or appears disorganized, customers will notice. Employees and business partners will also notice, and potentially could end up feeling apathetic about their job performance. You can prevent a negative impression and gain peace of mind knowing that your office is always customer ready by having a professional service take over your cleaning tasks.

2. Prevent Illness

Professional cleaning keeps your employees healthy and prevents absenteeism. Professional cleaning provides a level of sanitation that can help prevent the spread of illness through staff and allows employees to maintain productivity to keep your business operating smoothly.

3. Save Time

Cleaning your business can be a daunting task – and it can take up a lot of your valuable time. This is time that should be focused on maintaining and growing your business. Outsourcing cleaning needs allows you to take one thing off of your to-do list and keep your focus operations and customers.

4. Get the Job Done Right

As we just mentioned, cleaning takes an extraordinary amount of time and effort – especially when you don’t have the proper tools. A professional service will have the proper tools and be able to effectively and more expediently use them to clean your space. They can also tackle time consuming and difficult tasks like carpet cleaning and floor polishing that would likely take you an entire workday to complete.

5. Avoid Hassles

You know how much you do for your business every day and you know your limits. Allow a cleaning professional to take this one item off your list!


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.


4 of 5 most valued Janitorial tips

Tip Number Four: Powerful “Green Agents”

For many years, janitors have used harsh, cleaning chemicals containing carcinogens that cause cancer, teratogens that are known to cause birth defects, and mutagens that have been found to alter DNA. Towards the end of the last century, the commercial cleaning industry began to search for alternative cleaning products and methods that were less harmful to humans, or the earth for that matter. These “Earth Friendly” products or “Green Agents” improve air quality, reduce waste and reduce phosphates and phosphonates that can be harmful to humans.

The EPA rates indoor air quality as a top five health risk and estimates that two-thirds of our buildings are rated “SICK” with over 100 million dollars of lost work days due to poor indoor air quality. With 80% of our time being spent indoors, there are many good reasons why you should keep your facility clean with powerful “Green Agents”.

You may be concerned with the higher costs associated with “Green Agents” but when you look at the cost-per-use as opposed to the cost-per-gallon, you may be pleasantly surprised. Proper dilution coupled with the use of a metered dispensing system will help your “Green Agents” go a long way in keeping your office clean and healthy.


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