14 June 2011>
Pupils from Markham Primary School have been learning about the importance of good hand hygiene recently as part of Food Safety Week.
Officers from Caerphilly County Borough Council's Health Improvement team went along to Markham Primary School to highlight to pupils why it is so important to keep hands clean and germ free.
Step one of the hand hygiene lesson involved pupils being given ultraviolet gel to rub onto their hands – while it could not be seen by the naked eye, as soon as they put their hands under an ultraviolet light, all was revealed!
The next step involved Health Improvement Officers showing the pupils the correct hand washing technique to ensure that all germs and bacteria are removed.
Finally, after a thorough wash, the pupils put their hands back under the ultraviolet light – if there was no ultraviolet gel left remaining on their hands, the pupils had done the hand washing technique correctly!
Cllr Rob Gough, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said, "Food Safety Week is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of some very important issues regarding good food hygiene in the home".
He continued, "It is pleasing that our youngsters are being educated from such a young age on the importance of ensuring good hand hygiene, which will play an important role in helping to stop the spread of germs and harmful bacteria".
The theme of this year's nationwide Food Safety Week is 'What goes on behind closed doors', to see what people really do in their homes before preparing and cooking food. To investigate what people think good hygiene is, in the run up to Food Safety Week a nationwide survey took place, which asked more than 2,000 people whether they thought a range of statements about food safety were true or false.
The research showed that while most people are aware of good hygiene in the kitchen, many people can still fall foul of some common misconceptions around food safety.
Cllr Gough continued, "By working with our youngsters to educate them on this issue from an early age, we are helping to dispel these common misconceptions and increase awareness of the importance of good hygiene".
Following the hand hygiene session, pupils were tested about what they learned in a fun quiz, and they were also given 'germwatch' activity sheets to take home.
For further information, please call Health Challenge Caerphilly on 01495 235401.
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