15 October marks Global Handwashing Day each year, and for 2014 the theme is “Choose handwashing, choose health”.
The goals for this year are;
1. Handwashing is a choice everyone can make multiple times a day.
2. When people choose to wash hands with soap, they choose to create a healthier environment for all.
3. Good hygiene practices must become a habit.
Around the world about 200 million people participate Global Handwashing Day in 100 countries.
Although the focus of the day has always been on health and the use of soap in washing hands, good handwashing is a key to ensuring food safety, so it is well worth all food businesses recognising the day to promote the importance of handwashing in keeping food safe.
The day was originally set up to encourage children in poorer countries to develop washing their hands and to use soap when doing it as a habit. Children are the primary victims of gastrointestinal and other related diseases and conditions worldwide and it is recognised that proper handwashing will have a significant positive impact on this.
Although children remain the primary focus as agents for change in whole communities, there has been a spread to anyone who wants to promote the importance of good handwashing.
The partnership that co-ordinates Global Handwashing day has three long term goals;
1. To foster and support a global culture of handwashing with soap
2. Shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in every country
3. Raise awareness of the benefits of handwashing with soap.
For more details about Global Handwashing Day and the partnership co-ordinating it – go to http://globalhandwashing.org/ghw-day
Written by Rachelle Williams, The Green Food Safety Coach.