Emory University | Woodruff Health Sciences Center
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Hand sanitizer as effective as soap for farmworkers

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Good news for health experts concerned about food-borne illnesses. In a new study published in the Journal of Food Protection, Juan Leon, associate professor of global health, found that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are as effective as soap and water in removing bacteria such as coliforms, E. coli, and Enterococcus from farmworker’s hands. “Without any intervention, farmworkers’ hands were heavily soiled and contaminated with high concentrations of bacteria after hours of harvesting,” says Leon. “Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can help reduce the risk of produce-associated outbreaks, especially in areas where water is not readily accessible.”

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