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Traditional Cleaning Methods Ineffective
In a study at a Cleveland, OH Veterans Administration hospital, cleaning methods the housekeeping staff were using prior to an educational intervention were only successful in eliminating surface contamination by serious human pathogens about 23-25% of the time.
Dr. Paul Darby, MD, PhD, MPH, CIME, FACOEM
By CIRI Staff
A study which investigated germs collected on footwear, by Dr. Charles Gerba, microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona, and The Rockport® Company, found large numbers of bacteria both on the bottom and inside of shoes; averaging 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe and 2,887 on the inside. Some of the bacteria found on the shoes included: Escherichia coli, known to cause intestinal and urinary tract infections, meningitis and diarrheal disease; Klebsiella pneumonia, a common source for wound and bloodstream infections as well as pneumonia; and Serratia ficaria, a rare cause of infections in the respiratory tract and wounds.
The goal of the study was to verify bacteria levels on footwear and the effectiveness of machine washable shoes in reducing those levels inside and outside the shoe surface. The project also investigated the role of shoes in the movement of bacteria from contaminated floor spaces to other surfaces.
The Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) is a 501.c.3 not-for-profit scientific, educational and research organization that applies science to the practice and improvement of cleaning and maintenance.
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