This week many of us are heading out for vacations or picnics to celebrate the nation’s birthday.  And when we’re out of normal routines, we may forget basic health prevention – such as washing our hands.  Even though we know that it is the best way to prevent spreading germs, a new study shows that one in ten people don’t wash their hands at all after using the bathroom.  And only one of every 20 that stop to wash, do it right.  It’s a big deal when you consider that half of the foodborne illness outbreaks happen because people either don’t wash hands or don’t do it right. 

The study analyzed more than 3,500 people in a college town at various places on and off campus.  They found some things you might expect, like women are better at hand washing than men.  But also some surprising things – it doesn’t matter if the sink is automatic or the water has to be turned on or whether people were on campus or off.  It also found that if there was a sign in the bathroom that reminded people of the right way to wash their hands and to use soap, there was better hand washing. 

It’s pretty simple – wet your hands, use soap, rub hands together well with soap and then under running water to rinse.  About 20 seconds to keep you and your family healthy.