5 unexpected dangers in your clinic

5 unexpected dangers in your clinic

Germs are everywhere in your veterinary facility. Sometimes they hide in places you might not realize.
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Oct 01, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

You probably do plenty of cleaning to keep your veterinary facility tidy. But there may be a few spots you’re missing. Here are some lesser-known germ hideouts that Glamour magazine reported­—and tips for protecting yourself.

Kitchen sponges
It’s probably no surprise that sponges harbor germs. But how do you get rid of them? Soaking sponges in a bleach solution, lemon juice, or water won’t eliminate most germs, according to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Instead, heat the sponge in a microwave on high for one minute, or put it in the dishwasher. These methods will kill 99.9 percent of germs.

Computer keyboards
Keyboards are filled with germs—more than 500 times as many as on an average public toilet bowl. That’s because they rarely get cleaned. Change this by wiping down keyboards in your practice daily with disinfectant wipes.

Laundry
Washing machines are designed to clean laundry, but are they truly effective? Not if the water’s too cold, according to researchers at the University of Arizona. Wash laundry in water that’s at least 155 degrees, which will kill most germs, and use bleach when possible.

Doorknobs
Think about every client grabs your clinic’s front door and where their hands have been that day. Doorknobs are a virtual breeding ground for germs. Clean them frequently with sanitizing wipes or sprays. And if your practice doors sport copper knobs, even better—researchers in England have found that many germs can’t survive on copper.

Salt and pepper shakers
You hang out in your staff break room, but do you wash the salt and pepper shakers or other commonly-used items? Probably not. But if you handle potentially dangerous food—like raw meat—before touching these items, germs can spread. Wipe them down with an EPA-registered disinfectant to protect yourself.

It doesn’t take a lot of time to put up a fight against germs in your clinic, but it may save you a lot of sneezes and sniffles. So take precautions and stay healthy.