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Don't forget hand hygiene at your Jubilee street party31st of May 2012
If you live in the UK and you're planning to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with a street party this weekend, don't forget the importance of good hand hygiene.
That's according to expert Charlotte Branwhite at SCA. She saysthe potential for contamination at such parties - where people may be meeting for the first time and then eating together - is huge.
"In most situations where people get together over a meal they will be near a kitchen where they can wash and dry their hands frequently," said Branwhite. "But at a street party they will have to make a conscious effort to go back inside to wash their hands.
"Added to that there will be people meeting for the first time and shaking hands, then serving out food and eating it. If they opt for barbecued burgers, hot dogs, finger foods, sandwiches or anything else that they eat with the hands, they may contaminate the food."
Other potential causes of contamination could occur when people bring out their garden chairs and tables to set up on the street.
"These may have lain dormant in the garage or shed where they will have gathered dirt, or they could have been left out in the garden and become contaminated with bird droppings," said Charlotte. "So it is crucial that everyone washes their hands before serving and eating the food."
She recommends that each street party has a nominated handwash station - perhaps a washroom in a centrally-placed house. "It is also a good idea to supply an antibacterial sanitiser so that people can freshen their hands in between handwashes," she said.
At least 10,000 street parties have been organised to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - around double the number for last year's Royal Wedding.