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Snowman Hands Can Prevent Food-borne Illness

Yes, you read that right – snowman hands. When I started teaching food safety practices to children I wondered how to teach them about proper hand washing. We all know how important it is to thoroughly wash our hands before preparing food, after touching raw meat and poultry or any other potentially contaminated surface. We can easily explain to children (and adults!) that singing happy birthday twice, while scrubbing hands, equals the prescribed 10 to 15 seconds that we should do while washing. However, how do you explain how much soap to use to create a good lather?? The answer: snowman hands! Use enough soap that your hands look like a snowman’s hands after rubbing them together! I have found great success with this tip while teaching children (and now my own children) to wash their hands properly. And guess what – it takes a good 10 to 15 seconds of scrubbing soapy hands together to create those snowman hands! Bonus to the singing of happy birthday while washing hands! So next time you are washing your hands, use enough soap to create snowman hands. This will help prevent the spread of food-borne illness (and those nasty cold and flu bugs too!).

Use enough soap that your hands look like a snowman’s hands after rubbing them together!

Use enough soap that your hands look like a snowman’s hands after rubbing them together!
Kimberly Baker, ©2019, Clemson University

And guess what - it takes a good 10 to 15 seconds of scrubbing soapy hands together to create those snowman hands!

And guess what – it takes a good 10 to 15 seconds of scrubbing soapy hands together to create those snowman hands!
Kimberly Baker, ©2019, Clemson University

For more information on Handwashing see HGIC 4360, Handwashing – It Makes A Difference.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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