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Preparing Supplies for Pandemics

Pandemics and wide-ranging outbreaks claim millions of lives, economic meltdowns, affect public health, and disrupt societies. It is not enough to wait for the pandemic to start spreading before taking precautions against large scale outbreaks.  It would help if you got prepared by creating a foundation against the spread.

Effective preparedness of pandemic supplies and complemented efforts will strengthen systems and prevent further spread. In this article, you will learn the key measures to put in place before and during a pandemic.

What to do before a Pandemic

First of all, don’t panic. The sound of the word pandemic may be scary, but it doesn’t mean it cannot be contained. It is good to be prepared to avoid short notice rush.  Here are some things you could do before a pandemic occurs.

  • Make plans of what measures you will take in case your family members are affected.
  • Store up additional stock both foodstuff and health care prevention products
  • Stock up essential drugs as prescribed
  • Create easy access to details of your medical records and personal health

Health Care Plans to Consider During a Pandemic

When there is an outbreak in your community, you need to take measures to limit the spread of germs by practicing good hygiene. It will help prevent infection.  As much as you may want to avoid contact with the infected people, it would be best if you had practical measures. Below are the health care items that you will need.

Health Pandemic Supplies

Disinfectant Cleaners

Disinfectant Cleaners, Wipes, and Sprays

Disinfection is the use of chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.  It protects against infection during a pandemic, which lowers the risks of spreading the virus. It can be used at home, in the hospital, and even in a market place. 

You need to be patient when disinfecting surfaces because some disinfectants take time to penetrate the surface for effective results. The concentration and temperatures of the disinfectants are different, depending on the type you are using. You need to study the manufactures recommendations before using the chemicals carefully.

Protective Gloves

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Disposable Gloves in Latex, Nitrile, Vinyl, and Poly

You need to wear gloves during a pandemic to avoid contact with bodily fluids, blood, excretions, or contaminated surfaces. Your gloves need to be clean all the time. Change them after every task on every patient. You may change gloves more than two times on one patient, depending on how long the treatment takes. It is because some gloves may contain a high concentration of microorganisms.

Two major factors to consider when choosing gloves are; barrier protection and allergen content. Maximize its effectiveness by choosing reliable and experienced glove manufacture. You will be sure of the good quality of the gloves and constant availability.

Cleaning Supplies

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All-Purpose Cleaning Supplies and Wipes

Cleaning supplies help in the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities, which lowers the risk of spreading germs during a pandemic. There need to be practical routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces to avoid spread. Some of the cleaning supplies you need are;

  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Abrasive cleaners
  • Liquid detergents
  • Wipes

Face Masks

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Disposable Face Shields, Reusable Cotton Face Masks

Using face masks in public reduces the spread of infection. They minimize the excretion of respiratory droplets from infected people. Consider using face masks in congested places such as the market, public transport, etc.

Two types of face masks include, medical and non-medical. Prioritize the use of medical masks because it reduces the risks of transmission to zero, as compared to non-medical ones.

Disposable Gowns

Disposable Isolation Gowns

Gowns are used by hospital patients. They give easy access to the medical staff for the part of the body to be treated. Types of hospital gowns you need include;

  • Open Back gowns
  • Tie closure gowns
  •  IV gowns
  • Dignity Gowns
  • Snap closure
  • Disposable gowns

 Respirators

Dust Masks and Respirators

A respirator is a protective tool designed to protect people from inhaling hazardous air. The device covers the mouth and face, and in most cases, they cover the whole face of the entire head.  Types of respirators include;

  • Air purifying
  • Airline respirators
  • Hoods or helmets
  • Tight-fitting half masks
  • Breathing apparatus

A quote from Helene Munson says, “Behind the mask beats a loving heart, willing to save others.”

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Listeria – The Risks Involved

Listeria is a type of bacteria that causes listeriosis, a serious illness with a fatality rate of 20%. Most cases involve hospitalization. Children, elderly, and adults with weakened immune systems are most susceptible. Healthy adults may avoid listeriosis, but are still susceptible to gastroenteritis. Vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are the most common symptoms. If the bacteria spreads beyond the gut, a fever may arise. Some doctors may mistakenly diagnose patients with “stomach flu,” although listeria is not related to influenza. A bacterial culture verifies listeriosis.

Listeria Risks

Listeria is common in the food services industry. It is impossible to prevent this bacteria from entering your setting. It survives extreme cold, acidic, and oxygen deprived environments. Refrigeration and freezing do not prevent listeria growth. In fact, listeria continues to grow in the cold. Because of its durability, the only way to prevent listeria contamination is through proper training and procedures. Cleaning and sanitizing equipment is not enough. Listeria can survive in HVAC systems, floors, crevices, or hard to reach places. Without sufficient procedures, your company may be liable for any lapses that cause a listeria outbreak. Fines, fees, and litigation will increase costs on top of product recalls and reputation damage.

Cleaning and Sanitizing to Prevent Listeria

Safety is the first priority for the food industry. Cleaning and Sanitizing (C&S) are the key components to fulfill your responsibility. Cleaning involves removing all surface level contaminants such as food, oil, and dirt. Bacteria cling to these contaminants and block chemicals from reaching the surface. All work surfaces require cleaning including walls, drains, and floors.

All machinery should be broken down into its base components in order to properly sanitize each element. Bacteria festers in hard to reach places. Once a significant amount of bacteria congregate in one area, it forms a biofilm that can prevent proper sanitization.

Biofilms

It is common for drains to contain biofilms. Because they are overlooked and cleaned less often, it can be ground zero for a listeria outbreak in your facility. If a drain contains a biofilm, then cleaning and sanitizing will not be sufficient. The bacteria will spread onto the floor through the drain onto employee boots and clothes. If a pressurized washer is used to clean drains, then the blast will spread listeria through the air onto equipment. If drains flood, production should be ceased immediately. Slot drain systems prevent bacteria from festering. Otherwise, frequent cleaning is the best way to prevent biofilms and listeria.

Detergents

Solvents, detergents, acids, and abrasive cleaners are the most common cleaners used.

Detergents are useful for lifting most soil from the surface. For grease, solvent cleaners can be used even when grease has burned onto the surface. Acid cleaners are used on mineral deposits such as hard water. Abrasive cleaners remove significant soil accumulations, generally in small areas. Because of its abrasive qualities, its use should be limited to surfaces unable to be cleaned by a detergent.

Surfaces must be cleaned of all organic material. Bacteria feeds off organic material and prevents proper sanitization.

Cleaners do not remove all microorganisms and bacteria. Sanitizers must be used in conjunction with cleaners.

Sanitizing

Sanitizing proceeds cleaning. It involves applying chemicals or heat to a cleaned surface. Although sanitization does not sterilize an environment, it is sufficient for most settings. Heat is useful because listeria cannot survive past 149 degrees fahrenheit or 60 degrees celsius. Properly cooked food will not contain listeria if it is heated past 149 degrees. Dishwashers reach this temperature and thus too are effective means to sanitize.

Chemicals are used for food-contact surfaces. Chlorine, iodine, and  quaternary ammonium compounds are all approved for food-contact surfaces.

Chlorine

Chlorine is the most common sanitizer. It is effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses along with all spores. Salmonella, cryptosporidium, and giardia are all resistant to chlorine. In instances involving chlorine resistant microorganisms, quaternary ammonium compounds work effectively. Chlorine is not effective against biofilms and is toxic when inhaled and when in contact with skin. There is a positive residual effect that keeps the surface free of bacteria for a limited time.

Iodine

Iodine is an acid sanitizer. It is effective against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and tuberculosis. Iodine has a slight resistance to listeria, meaning longer exposure times are necessary. To remove a listeria infested biofilm with iodine, soak the film. Because iodine is an acid, be careful when it comes into contact with other sanitizers. Chlorine mixed with an acid produces a deadly, toxic gas. If exposed, immediately remove everyone from the environment. Iodine is also extremely corrosive and causes chemical burns on the skin.

Proper protection is required when cleaning with acids like iodine.

Quaternary

Quaternary ammonium cleaner is effective against vegetative bacteria. Vegetative bacteria is bacteria that is not growing. QA is effective against biofilms and does not require soaking time like iodine. Like chlorine, QA provides residual activity keeping the surface sanitized for a limited time. It works against hard water although QA itself is not corrosive.

Sanitizers

Sanitizers react differently depending on the surface. Plastic, glass, metal, and wood may require different chemicals to properly sanitize. For food environments, this may not be as important. It is critical to understand the microorganisms that thrive in your environment to prepare proper sanitization procedures. For example, if you have a biofilm with listeria, then your iodine sanitizer may not be enough if the film is not soaked for an adequate time. In that case, QA could be used. Send environmental samples to labs in order to sanitize properly.

Sampling For Lab Tests

Listeria is unique in that contaminated foods appear and taste normal. Because of this, environmental monitoring should be a part of every facility procedures, along with a cleaning and sanitizing program. Swab sample collection will keep your facility safe. Samples will identify listeria and other pathogens.

Once you know what pathogens live in your environment, you will be able to use the right sanitizers to protect your customers.

Environmental sampling kits are designed to increase sample count through their large, foam-tipped swabs. In all kits, a swab is secured to the screw-cap in leak-resistant tubes. To test, remove the swab and wipe the sample area while rotating the swab. Return the swab to the tube and secure the cap. Laboratory analysis should be completed within 4 hours. Samples can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours at 35-39 degrees fahrenheit or 2-4 degrees celsius.

To prevent sample sanitizer contamination, sampling swabs come pre-moistened with neutralizing solutions. Neutralizing solutions can interact with microorganisms, potentially harming the pathogens you hope to test. To prevent this, your swab needs to be tailored to your environment. Contact our customer service if you need advice on which swab is best for you.

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Hand Sanitizers for Work Health

Benefits And Usability of Hand Sanitizers in Your Workplace

How Hand Sanitizers Can Improve Your Health and Bottom Line

Learn About Hand Sanitizers In The Next 4 Minutes… To prevent illness, dirty working environments, and productivity loss: maintain workplace sanitation.

Promoting a healthy workplace environment drives productivity as well as profitability. Hand sanitizers provide a cost-effective way to promote workplace hygiene.

Germs are everywhere and they can make us sick. Throughout any given day, our hands are in contact with many objects with germs and bacteria.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), absenteeism due to sickness cost employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States.

Importance of hand sanitation

There is increasing awareness of the significance of hand sanitation and hygiene. Yet people still become sick at work due to the absence of an effective sanitation system.

Bacteria and viruses can survive for months on surfaces. For instance, desks and telephones. The infectious agents spread to workers via direct or indirect contact.

Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer 4 oz Bottle with Flip Cap
Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer 4 oz Bottle with Flip Cap

Proper hand hygiene compliance can help stop the spread of many diseases and reduce absenteeism. According to WHO, the right use of hand sanitizer is the best way to avoid sickness and germs spread.

Looking for trusted and cost-effective hand washing solutions for your workplace? Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer is one of the most recommended hand hygiene products that can help your employees stay healthy.

 

How hand sanitizers work

 

Hand sanitizer is a liquid used to decrease infectious agents on the hands. The use of sanitizers has increased over the time. With more emphasis put on maintaining hygiene, awareness of the appropriate use of hand sanitizers has increased.

Hand sanitizers provide many benefits but only when used correctly. The function and effectiveness of these products depends on the ingredients and the way you use sanitizers.

 

The ethyl alcohol is one of the important ingredients of a hand sanitizer that kills germs. But, there should be a certain quantity of alcohol present in the sanitizers to kill most of the germs.

Products containing less than 40% alcohol are not effective. Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer kills 99.9% of germs that can cause illness. Because the product contains the right amount of alcohol and other ingredients.

 

When you apply the hand sanitizer, make sure you cover the entire hand without missing a single spot. Purell Hand Sanitizer Wipes also provide a quick and effective way to remove dirt and infectious agents from hands.

Purell Sanitizing Wrapped Hand Wipes
Purell Sanitizing Wrapped Hand Wipes

Benefits of using hand sanitizers

 

Frequent, consistent hand cleaning kills germs and reduces the spread of bacteria. Purell Gel Hand Sanitizer provides many benefits for a healthy and safe working environment. High-quality hand sanitizers:

 

  • Prevent the spread of germs
  • Promote good hygiene and health
  • Are easy-to-use and effective
  • Reduce waste
  • Provide inexpensive hand sanitation solution

 

American Journal of Infection Control reveals that promoting the use of hand sanitizers in educational institutions can reduce absenteeism by almost 20%.

 

A report suggests that 1 in 5 people do not pay attention to the importance of hand hygiene. Most of the infections are transmitted by hands. So, implementing a sound hand hygiene program at work is vital.

Hand sanitation can play a key role in helping businesses remain productive by creating a safe and healthy workplace.

 

Where to place hand sanitizers

 

Placing hand sanitizers at the right places encourages people to use them when they need them the most.

Help control the spread of infectious agents. Particularly in environments where workers have to handle food or provide medical services.

 

Place Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizers and wipes in Bathrooms, food service areas, and outside of cleanrooms. So that employees can have an easy access to a reliable sanitation system.

 

You should think strategically and find out places in your facility where placing hand sanitizers would provide the largest utility.

Have a supply of Purell Hand Sanitizer Refills on hand. So you can ensure the availability of an effective hand washing solution all the time.

 

Where to get affordable and reliable hand sanitizers

 

It can be challenging to find a supplier for affordable as well as reliable hand sanitation products for your business.

Browse a variety of Purell Hand Sanitizers and Wipes at discounted rates. Whether you are looking for Purell Gel Hand Sanitizers or Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizers, Harmony is the right place to buy them.

If you are not sure what kind of hand sanitation product would work best for your facility, feel free to call us and get free help.

 

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How to Avoid Germs This Flu Season

Ways to Avoid Germs this Flu Season

Germs are a concern year-round, especially in shared environments like workplaces. Yet, during flu season, it’s particularly important to avoid picking up any germs. According to the CDC, flu viruses can range in severity from mild to severe, and for more than 4,600 people per year, they’re even fatal.

The flu is most dangerous for elderly individuals, pregnant women, children, and people with certain preexisting medical conditions. With that being said, even people in excellent health can become severely ill from particularly strong strains of the virus. Since no one wants to spend days (or in some cases, even weeks) feeling their worst, there are a few tips you can implement to keep flu germs at bay in your family, workplace, and community:

Talk to Your Doc . . .

They’ll likely recommend the flu shot for you and your family members – it’s the single best way to prevent contracting the illness. Only a select portion of the population – including those who have had severe allergic reactions to the vaccine – should avoid flu shots. However, it’s always a good idea to get a professional’s opinion. Also, keep in mind that flu vaccinations wear off over time. The vaccine is updated each year to reflect current strains, so be sure to follow the vaccination schedule recommended by your physician.

. . . Don’t Consider Yourself “Immune”

If you’ve received a flu vaccination, it doesn’t mean you’re completely immune to contracting the virus. In fact, the CDC reports the risk of contracting the flu is reduced by 40-60% in patients who receive the vaccine. The overwhelming majority of medical experts still consider it worth getting, but know that it protects against certain strains than others. This means you’ll still need to take precautions to avoid falling ill, so keep reading even if you’ve received or plan to receive a flu shot.

Encourage Employees to Stay Home

The best way to keep flu germs out of the workplace is to prevent infected employees from bringing them in. If you manage a team or oversee a business, encourage your personnel to stay home when they’re feeling under the weather. Most strains are highly contagious, and can even be contracted when you breathe in a flu aerosol particle from ten feet away!

Wash Hands Regularly

There are certain environments – such as your home and personal work space – which you can control and keep clean. In public environments, however, you’re bound to come into contact with flu viruses at one point or another. To limit your exposure, wash your hands often, and always before eating or touching your face. When you’ve come into contact with frequently-used public objects, like cafeteria trays, ATMs, and door handles, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

Limit the Spread of Infection

Fight viruses with the Curad Anti-Viral Face Mask

Most doctor’s offices now provide face masks in the patient waiting area, which should be donned by potentially infected visitors. If you own or manage a healthcare facility, keep an ample supply of anti-viral face masks on hand for the flu season. Nurses and doctors may also wish to put on face masks before treating potentially infected patients to reduce their risks of contracting the illness. Also, keep in mind the virus can be spread up to seven days before a person exhibits symptoms. Thus, it’s a good idea to avoid sharing straws, makeup products, and similar objects with others.

Keep Your Spaces Clean

Wipe away germs with CleanTex Phone Wipes

According to a Clorox survey, 41% of workers say they rarely – if ever – disinfect their desks. Your cubicle and similar personal spaces can harbor countless germs, so taking extra precautions to keep them clean during flu season is essential to your wellness. From your cubicle to your household, wipe down surface areas often to keep germs at bay. Keep office environments well-stocked with cleaning supplies which can be used safely on electronics like touch-screen computers and keyboards. Use CleanTex Phone Wipes for desk equipment and phones and use CleanTex Clean and Safe wipes or Purell Sanitizing Hand Wipes for your hands.

Cover Your Cough

If you do get the flu or feel like it could be coming on, be sure to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. Afterwards, clean your hands to prevent passing your germs onto any surface areas. The flu virus isn’t just spread by airborne respiratory droplets; it can also be passed by skin-to-skin contact and by touching a contaminated surface. Leave a germ-free surface by cleaning with disinfectant wipes.

Practice Healthy Habits

Eating a nutrient-rich diet is a great way to boost your body’s immunity, but many individuals still fall short in certain vitamins and minerals. Talk to your doctor about taking a multivitamin to stay as healthy as possible, and be sure to get plenty of sleep. If you do contract the flu, stay hydrated and seek medical attention if any symptoms become extreme.

Keep your office environment clean this flu season by stocking up on disinfecting wipes, sanitizers, anti-viral face masks and more through Harmony. We have everything you need to stop germs in their tracks. Visit our online storefront for a full list of products, or get in touch with a product specialist for assistance.