Hand Sanitizer or Soap?

There are quite a lot of people who believe hand sanitizer is an appropriate replacement for washing one’s hands with soap when coming into contact with germs. On the other hand, there are many people who believe that washing hands with soap is still the right choice to make as this can help eliminate more germs. This confusion creates a lot of space for improper safety, especially for the professionals responsible for food handling or cooking. But we’re here to inform you that hand sanitizer is only a temporary fix. You are highly recommended to immediately wash your hands with soap, upon being able to.

Hands are the part of your body that come into contact with many outside factors and then come in direct contact with your face, allowing germs to be transmitted. This emphasizes the importance of hand hygiene and the importance of purifying the hands appropriately.

There are a lot of upsides to hand sanitizers as a temporary fix, like it being so easily accessible (at least prior to COVID-19, that is!). The portable nature of hand sanitizer allows for you to quickly sanitize your hands at any time when soap and water are absent. For example, there is no need to keep running for a soap and some water to clean your handle. Hand sanitizer protects against a lot of germs, but it is not 100% adequate. Certain types of bacteria can not merely be removed just by using hand sanitizer. Contrary to the recent popularity of hand sanitizers, the product is not new. They have been in use for years. The results of hand sanitizers are known, and it comes as no surprise that it isn’t the best method of purification.

This is where soap comes in. Bacteria, germs, and viruses are more effectively destroyed through washing the hands with soap. Unlike sanitizers, soap actually cleans the hands. Not only this, but hand sanitizers cannot cleanse visible grime like soap can. In regard to soap being a tried and true form of cleansing, there comes proper etiquette when washing your hands with soap. It is recommended that you wash your hands with warm water with soap for at least 20 seconds. In addition to this, lathering properly and in between the fingers is an important step. When drying the hands, use a disposable towel and use that towel to then turn off the tap to again prevent any cross-contamination. So when you are working in the food industry and are responsible for safe food handling, it is suggested to keep washing your hands after some time, especially before you touch the food items. This helps prevent any kind of cross-contamination during the cooking process.

So, the next time you consider skipping using soap, remember the most preventative method of ensuring your hands are clean is not hand sanitizer. Make sure to learn all you need to know to keep your hands clean and free from pathogens in our food handler course.