Prevention of Community Spread
While going for groceries, there are many risks of contracting infectious diseases. These diseases can be contracted through touching the microbes, inhaling, or contacting body fluids. Many people in the grocery touch the carts, freezer doors and buffet serving spoons and make these surfaces contaminated with pathogens. As a result, these microbes can easily spread to other people. As an individual, it is necessary to maintain high sanitary standards to reduce the risk of infection (Damayanti et al. 258). Below are some of the measures that can be taken to reduce the spread of infections.
Wearing face masks that are approved by the ministry of health helps in reducing the spread of pathogens that are airborne. When entering the grocery, one should ensure proper handwashing using soap and water. This will help kill the pathogens and reduce the contamination of the infections to other surfaces. In the cases where there are no soap and water, alcohol sanitizers are to be used. This is because alcohol can kill pathogens since it is toxic.
Another measure to reduce the infection is to avoid crowded places and practice social distancing. This will help make the airborne or the pathogens dispersed by body fluids have minimal contact with the next person hence reducing the spread. It is advisable to sneeze to the elbow to reduce contact with the mouth, nose and ears. This is because these areas are direct access points to the body.
These pathogens can be viruses, bacteria, or fungi that can cause harm to a person’s health. They are contracted through physical contact; droplets and others are airborne. When a person sneezes on you, it is advisable to exhale immediately. To avoid inhaling droplets, turn your head, and walk away to reduce exposure to the pathogens (Darmayani et al. 258). After that, it is advisable to wash your face and sanitize properly.
When cooking raw chicken, maximum hygiene should be practiced to ensure there is no food poisoning. The chicken is washed with clean water and rinsed thoroughly. Then it is rinsed with vinegar and scrubbed with lemon to remove any germs because vinegar is acidic and toxic to microorganisms. The chicken is boiled at high temperatures to kill any remaining bacteria. It is then cooked to the desired flavor and served to clean plates and covered to avoid contamination.
Contamination can occur in the kitchen, and it can be caused by cross-contamination. Cross-contamination is achieved when using the same knife while cutting different vegetables and meat without rinsing. The use of utensils on different food without washing and touching uncontaminated and dirty food before cleaning also causes contamination. Another cause of contamination is by using unsafe ingredients that are expired and not healthy. These products are prone to pathogens that can cause illness and are not safe for consumption.
Disinfectants are to be used to clean surfaces and tools used in the kitchen for good sanitation. Bleach is used in the cleaning of floors, countertops, and sinks because of its high acidic nature. The acidity will kill most of the bacteria on the surfaces and reduce the chances of cross-contamination. It is good to remove the detachable parts and clean the tools with hot, soapy water when washing utensils. The dishes are then air vacuumed on a sanitized dish rank and in a tidy place.
Washing hands with antibacterial soap is more efficient than washing hands with water only. Soap helps in trapping pathogens and bacteria and removing them from the hands hence ensuring good hygiene (Marshall et al. 759). Low temperatures cause the germs to become static and inactive. However, a long duration of coldness can damage the microorganisms. Optimum temperatures cause maximum activity of the pathogens, while high temperatures cause the death of the microbes.
Gram staining is a typical procedure for distinguishing two major categories of bacteria. The categorization usually depends on microbes’ differing cell wall composition. The process differentiates across Gram-positive as well as Gram-negative groupings by colorization of cells red or violet. The first step in gram staining is preparing the slide and fixing it through heat. Then the primary stain, which is crystal violet, is used and left for one minute. Wash for about five seconds before adding the acidic iodine for about one minute. Wash again for 5 seconds, then add the decolorizer, which is alcohol, for 15 seconds. Add the counterstain, which is safranin, for one minute. The final step is to wash, blow-dry and view under a microscope.
The results will be pink and purple bacilli and cocci on the microscope. Consequently, the gram-negative bacteria will be pink in color. This is because the peptidoglycan film of the gram-negative bacteria is thinner. Moreover, the decolorizer erodes off its crystal violet color and also the iodine complex. After that, the gram-negative bacteria take the pink color of safranin. The gram-positive, nonetheless, do have a dense peptidoglycan coating. Thus, the iodine complex and crystal violet are not worn out by the decolorizer hence the purple color.
Acid Fast Staining
This is a differential staining used to test for mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli in sputum. It is done by preparing the slide and using the primary stain, carbon-fuchsin, with intermittent heating to allow full penetration. Sulphuric acid is then used to decolorize, and then the counterstain, which is methylene blue, is added for 2 minutes. The slide is then air-dried and viewed under a microscope using oil immersion. Red bacilli are observed due to the red carbon-fuchsin that penetrated the lipoid cell wall of the tuberculosis bacilli and was not washed away by the decolorizer (Zahra). Tuberculosis is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis and attacks the lungs and other extrapulmonary areas, and is fatal to the human body if it spreads to the cranial meninges and causes meningitis.
Damayanti, Satya, et al. “Comparison The Number of Bacteria Between Washing Hands Using Soap and Hand Sanitizer as A Bacteriology Learning Resource for Students.” Jurnal Pendidikan Biologi Indonesia, vol 3, no. 3, 2017, p. 258. Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang, Web.
Marshall, K. A. et al. “Prevalence of Bacterial Contamination in 50% Dextrose Vials in Varying Storage Conditions After Multiple Punctures.” Journal of Small Animal Practice, vol 59, no. 12, 2018, pp. 758-762. Web.
Zahra, Naseem. “Acrylamide-A Harmful Chemical Present in Food Entities”. Journal of Biotechnology & Bioresearch, vol 2, no. 1, 2019. Crimson Publishers. Web.