How To Prevent Cross-Contamination in Healthcare

Updated on August 28, 2023
How To Prevent Cross-Contamination in Healthcare

Cross-contamination is a real threat in any healthcare facility. It is when harmful bacteria get transferred to surfaces or food. Those with high susceptibility to foodborne illnesses are at the greatest risk. If you do not have the proper procedures in place at your facility, the effects of cross-contamination can wreak havoc on your staff. Having systems in place to prevent cross-contamination is vital for any healthcare facility. Here’s how to prevent cross-contamination in healthcare.

Know the Different Types

First, it is crucial to know the various types of cross-contamination. They are:

  • Food to food. Let’s say a chef in your kitchen uses a knife to cut some raw chicken. Then, without cleaning the knife, he starts cutting fruit. That’s a huge problem, as bacteria from the raw chicken is now getting on the fruit. To prevent this, always have kitchen staff clean utensils after using them.
  • Equipment to food. The surfaces in your healthcare facility are breeding grounds for bacteria. If you do not regularly clean countertops and other surfaces, harmful bacteria can transfer to food or people.
  • People to food. Finally, humans can infect food with harmful bacteria. That can occur if you do not properly wash up after using the toilet. Proper hand hygiene is essential for keeping your facility safe from cross-contamination.

Clean the Most Commonly Touched Objects

This step is a must for any healthcare facility. Particular objects are touched far more often than others. These include:

  • Doorknobs
  • Phones
  • Elevator buttons
  • Flush handles
  • Sinks
  • Toilet seats
  • Patient beds

Make sure that you sanitize and clean these objects several times a day to prevent cross-contamination. It would be best if you also used poly tubing to handle all sensitive materials.

Follow the Proper Food Guidelines

Storing, preparing, and serving food all have stringent guidelines. Make sure that your staff knows these crucial safety regulations. That way, you can keep the food at your healthcare facility safe. Here are a few rules to keep in mind:

  • Clean all knives and utensils after use
  • Wear clean uniforms each day
  • All employees must thoroughly wash their hands before beginning work
  • No food or drinks in the kitchen area
  • Store all raw food in containers with strong seals
  • Keep different meats and foods separated

Of course, these are but a few of the safety procedures involved in keeping a clean facility. Do some research and familiarize yourself with all the guidelines that you need to follow.

So that’s how to prevent cross-contamination in healthcare. Make sure to keep this guide in mind when preparing the safety guidelines for your healthcare facility.