alexa A microbiological evaluation of warm air hand driers with respect to hand hygiene and the washroom environment.
Nutrition

Nutrition

Journal of Food: Microbiology, Safety & Hygiene

Author(s): Taylor JH, Brown KL, Toivenen J, Holah JT

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A finger rinse technique for counting micro-organisms on hands showed no significant difference in the level of recovered micro-organisms following hand drying using either warm air or paper towels. Contact plate results appeared to reflect the degree of dampness of hands after drying rather than the actual numbers of micro-organisms on the hands. In laboratory tests, a reduction in airborne count of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus of between 40 and 75% was achieved from 600 readings comparing inlets and outlets of warm air hand driers. In washroom trials, the number of airborne micro-organisms was reduced by between 30 and 75%. Air emitted from the outlet of the driers contained significantly fewer micro-organisms than air entering the driers. Drying of hands with hand driers was no more likely to generate airborne micro-organisms than drying with paper towels. Levels of micro-organisms on external surfaces of hand driers were not significantly different to those on other washroom surfaces. This work shows that warm air hand driers, of the type used in this study, are a hygienic method of drying hands and therefore appropriate for use in both the healthcare and food industry.

This article was published in J Appl Microbiol and referenced in Journal of Food: Microbiology, Safety & Hygiene

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