Welcome to Healthy Dudley. This is the new public health website.

Ways of preventing infections

Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from illnesses such as food poisoning and flu.

You should wash your hands:

  • After using the toilet
  • After handling raw foods like chicken, meat and vegetables
  • Before eating or handling ready to eat food
  • After having contact with animals, including pets

Why is it so important to wash your hands properly?

Washing your hands properly removes dirt, viruses and bacteria to stop them spreading to other people and objects, which can spread illnesses such as food poisoning, flu or diarrhoea, especially after going to the toilet or before handling food.

  • Washing your hands with soap and water is sufficient to remove dirt, viruses or bacteria and it can reduce the risk of diarrhoea by nearly 50%.
  • Children are particularly at risk of picking up infections and spreading them to other people.
  • It’s especially important to make sure that you wash your hands when you’re visiting someone in hospital or other healthcare setting, to help prevent the spread of infection.

Washing your hands properly should take about as long as singing “Happy Birthday” twice (around 20 seconds). Use the following steps:

image of handwashing poster providing 14 steps to effective handwashing