Tis the season to be . . . safe! Tips on keeping your holidays healthier!


Most of us love the holidays. We love the time spent with family and friends. The last thing we want to think about is getting sick.


We are going to look briefly at two topics in this week's blog:

  • How to keep healthier this holiday season

  • How to keep your food prep areas safer


How to keep healthier this holiday season (and the rest of the year, too!)


These days our health is one of our greatest assets. Even when we have nothing else, if we have our health, we can count ourselves fortunate.



In addition to concerns this season about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the many variations of it, we also have to keep in mind that the "regular" flu is out there, too.


If there was only one thing that COVID-19 taught us, it is that good hygiene, mask-wearing, and staying home when sick keep us much healthier.


Another step that kept us healthier was frequent disinfection of high-contact surfaces.


According to the Vital Oxide site, COVID-19 brought with it a steep decline in influenza. In fact, 2020's influenza "season" had the lowest number of cases ever recorded! While in a normal year, we might see one in ten people sick with the flu, that was not the case last year. 1


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health and clinical laboratories reported 2,038 flu cases during the season from September 27, 2020, to April 24, 2021. The CDC estimates about 38 million people were sick with the flu during the 2019-2020 season. 2


That is HUGE!


Seven tips to keep healthier this season



While there are many tips out there to keep you healthier, here are seven that are fairly common, no-nonsense ways to avoid influenza or other viral infections this holiday.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and warm water throughout the day.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose without first washing your hands.

  • Use hand sanitizer (if soap and water aren’t available).

  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

  • Stay home if you believe you’re sick.

  • Avoid contact with those who are sick.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school, especially when someone is ill.

Speaking of disinfecting, let's talk about Vital Oxide and how it can help you keep your home, office, church and other gathering places much safer.


How Vital Oxide by Last Germ can give you a "cleaner" home


Vital Oxide is an all-purpose cleaner that is also an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectant. It can be used on most surfaces to clean, sanitize and disinfect. Because it kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including influenza and SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus), without harsh chemicals, noxious odors, harmful residues, or alarming safety warnings, you can feel safe using it in your home and other meeting places. It is also safe to use around pets and for disinfecting food preparation areas.


Speaking of food preparation areas, that brings us to our second topic.


How to keep your food prep areas healthier



You may not know this, but there is a difference between cleaning and sanitizing. Just because something is "cleaned" or looks clean, does not mean it is sanitized or disinfected.


While the kitchen counter in the photograph above looks clean, it may still be covered in germs and bacteria.


According to the Vital Oxide site, there are three processes that are used, the most common would be cleaning, followed by sanitizing and then disinfecting.


Cleaning is basically the process of removing debris and germs. It does not kill pathogens. It is the first step in preventing foodborne illness, though.


Sanitizing is the process of reducing germs. Some areas that should be sanitized include:

  • Cutting boards

  • Countertops, prep-tables, work surfaces

  • Food-contact equipment (can openers, slicers, grinders, mixers, etc.)

  • Dishes and utensils

  • Refrigeration units

  • Beverage and ice equipment

Vital Oxide is ideal for sanitizing these items and areas as it is food-safe. It is considered a "no-rinse required" food contact surface sanitizer. It works fast and is effective!


Disinfecting is the process of killing germs. Killing germs, bacteria, viruses and fungi is one of Vital Oxide's calling cards. It safely eliminates and kills harmful microbes and can make your holidays memorable for the fun, not the flu!


Here is a simple five steps to effectively clean, sanitize and disinfect from Vital Oxide. 3



FIVE STEPS TO EFFECTIVELY CLEAN & SANITIZE OR DISINFECT

Your home kitchen deserves the same treatment as a food prep area in a restaurant. Here are the steps to follow to keep your kitchen clean and free of pathogens.

1. PREPARE THE SURFACE

Before you break out your cleaning supplies, brush off any loose debris or food particles from the surface (like a countertop) or item (like a plate), and dispose of them. You can use a paper towel or wet microfiber cloth to remove the debris and soak up any spills or wet messes.

2. CLEAN THE SURFACE

Use a surface-safe cleaning solution to help dissolve any persistent food and residue, and dirt. Vital Oxide can be used in this pre-cleaning step. Unlike harsh conventional cleaners like bleach, Vital Oxide can be used on virtually every surface type, including wood, natural stone, stainless steel, concrete, glass, laminate, tile, and more.

3. RINSE THE SURFACE (IF NEEDED)

Rinse the surface with water to remove the residual cleaning solution. Rinsing is necessary because cleaning chemicals are not compatible with sanitizers and disinfectants. If they combine, the sanitizer won’t be able to do its job, or, worse, mixing chemicals can have disastrous effects. However, if you used Vital Oxide to clean, there is no need to rinse before the next step.

4. SANITIZE OR DISINFECT THE SURFACE WITH VITAL OXIDE

After thoroughly cleaning, spray or wipe (using a microfiber cloth, not a paper towel) the surface with Vital Oxide to sanitize or disinfect. For sanitizing food-contact surfaces, Vital Oxide can be diluted, 9 parts water to 1 part Vital Oxide. For disinfecting, Vital Oxide must always be applied full-strength.

5. ALLOW THE SURFACE TO DRY

Air-drying might seem trivial and time-consuming. However, this is an essential step of sanitizing and disinfecting. Typically, sanitizers require an average of 60 seconds of contact to kill germs on the surface, and disinfectants can take up to 10 minutes. Always read the product’s label before use to determine the appropriate drying time.


Finally...


Have a happy holiday season. Create a new tradition this year and give everyone the gift of Vital Oxide.


If you want to learn more about how Vital Oxide and/or how the 2-step process can help you or if you have any questions about how it all works, you can contact an agent near you. They will be happy to assist you.



References: 1: https://vitaloxide.com/blogs/blog/the-2021-2022-influenza-season-is-upon-us-here-s-what-you-need-to-know