Doctor recommends one of the first things you should always do when you return home

Many of us are taught the simple ways to stay hygienic when children. These are important habits that stay with us into adulthood.

And during the COVID-19 pandemic, these became even more important or run the risk of becoming ill.

Washing your hands after you use the toilet and before you eat are two such common rules.

However, an expert has warned of another that is vital when it comes to avoiding potentially harmful bacteria and viruses when out and about.

Gastroenterologist Doctor Joseph Salhab took to video sharing platform TikTok to urge people to walk their hands every time they come home.

Speaking to his 1.4 million followers he referenced one study from 2011 that found 72 percent of grocery carts are contaminated with faecal matter – or poo particles.

Furthermore, 50 percent tested positive for E. coli, a bacteria that can cause infections in the gut.

“So this is why you need to wash your hands every time you come home and every time before you eat,” Dr Salhab said.

“Chances are if you’re out and about just doing simple things, you’re probably touching this stuff.

“And if you’re not washing your hands, you’re probably ingesting it.”

He also directed people to a 2022 study, which discovered checkout areas are also loaded with faecal matter and five harmful bacteria known to cause diseases.

Dr Salhab explained that this was mainly caused by people who don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet.

He said: “And part of this is because an astonishing amount of people, either do not wash their hands after they use the bathroom or they don’t wash long enough for it to be effective.

“So then it ends up getting transferred to all these places where they’re touching.

“And if you’re not taking your shoes off before you enter your house, it’s probably getting all over your floors. “

To avoid getting sick from this he shared three rules:

  • Wash your hands every time you come home
  • Wash your hands every time you eat – even in a restaurant
  • Take off your shoes when you get home.

“So three rules that are easy to follow: wash your hands every time you come home,” he said.

“Wash your hands every time you eat, even if you’re going to a restaurant, just go to the bathroom.

“Wash your hands before you eat because even just opening the doors can make your hands dirty because chances are there’s poop on them.

“And take off your shoes before you get home.”

Symptoms of an E.coli infection can include:

  • Diarrhoea – this is often watery and sometimes bloody.
  • Stomach pains and cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low fever.

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