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Thread: Hand Sanitizers

  1. #21
    Alf233's Avatar
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    You can wash your hand all you want and still make yourself sick preparing your food. Cross contamination while cooking is an issue as well on the trail. Keep hands and cooking surfaces clean. Unless you want to leave a paper trail all the way home. A little common sense can go a long way.

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    Senior Member ka8yiu's Avatar
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    I recall seeing something about using the campfire ashes to clean your dishes and have done that a few times. I can see how you can use the same method for your hands.

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    When we host groups on canoe trips we hang a hand washing station. We ask everyone to wash after the bathroom, before cooking and before eating. We are very careful with cross contamination when cooking, especially from raw meat.

    I do not use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer. I do believe the notion of superbugs developing as a result of overuse of these things. I use soap and with the rinse for all dishes and eating ware, a bit of chlorine when I have groups. Water put onto the dishes is boiling hot.

    Heat is also a great cleaner. Pots and pans get heated after cleaned, nothing can survive the heat of a good fire.

    I have cooked commercially and had a food handlers license and understand the rationale behind generally accepted practices. While requiring a little more creativity in the field, there is no reason to skimp. What works in the kitchen works in the field.
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  4. #24
    Member TheQ's Avatar
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    Just to clarify, not all hand sanitizers are created equal. The concern centers around antibacterial soaps & sanitizers. The mild antibiotic properties in those are feared to be compounding the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
    Antiseptic sanitizers that are alcohol based kill many viruses, bacteria & even is a fungicide.
    Make sure it's at least 60% alcohol, hospitals & clinics use 70-90% alcohol to combat the particularly nasty viruses.
    Random side not: Alcohol sanitizers initially caused religious controversy, but after testing, are permitted for use by religions that don't allow the consumption of alcohol.


    Long version here.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_sanitizer
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  5. #25

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    While I agree with your assessment of sanitizers I think you will find that the original issue and the link was the fact that a significant number of people are relying on sanitizers rather than proper hand washing with soap and water. Even if one was going to do that I suspect they would need to use a lot more sanitizer than they do to get sufficient coverage and remove dirt protecting pathogen clusters that would be exposed when handling food. Sanitizers plus washing as in the medical community makes sense. Sanitizers instead of washing does not unless one has a severe water problem. Even then it is asking for trouble so one should be extra diligent.
    YMMV

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  6. #26
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    I use it, but I dump it on.. and Keep my hands Wet with the stuff for over 2 minutes, while rubbing my hands like its in water. vs the small drop and 20 seconds its evaporated.

    Not to mention does make good stove fire starter.
    " Taking the gun off safety increases the velocity by 100% "

  7. #27

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    At home I just use soap, ideally either plain soap or with something natural like thymol rather than triclosan. I'm deeply concerned about the damage we've done to our micro biome with some of this stuff without realizing it.
    On the trail where there isn't a proper sink, I like something to treat my hands with. In his Expedition Canoeing, Cliff Jacobson recommends something with Benzalkonium chloride in it as it continues to do its thing on the skin for hours while alcohol evaporates in seconds. This will be sold with the band aids, not with the purell.
    I put mine in a 30ml spray bottle but I've decided 10ml would be plenty for 2 people x3 days with some to spare.

    I have a little 3ml dropper of camp soap but don't really need this for my hands. A quick rinse with water and anything I've ever gotten on my hands on the trail comes right off. The spray kills anything I can't see after visiting the tree or before preparing a meal.

  8. #28
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    I wash my hands and get a dab of sanitizer before and after cleaning fish.

  9. #29

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    I'm always grossed out by the fact that using a hand sanitizer just leaves a rack of dead germs/bacteria/etc. on my hands. They're not really CLEAN, just...covered in dead stuff.

  10. #30

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    That is at least part of the problem. Then there is the idea that they might not all be dead. Add to that the idea that not all contamination is biologically alive to begin with. It all comes back to a bit of soap and water does a better job.

    What's even more interesting is that it probably takes less soap than it does chemical sanitizer as one can dilute a couple of drops of liquid soap in a fair amount of water and be effective. Hand sanitizer should not be diluted to maintain effective levels of the poisoning agent. 3 drops and a rub does not do it.
    Last edited by nothermark; 01-23-2014 at 17:45.
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

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