The tough fight against hospital superbugs and food poisoning
Chlorine-based bleaches, or hypochlorites, have powerful antimicrobial properties that are used for disinfecting surfaces, floors and instruments in hospital and food preparation areas. They are cheap and simple to use: diluted solutions of bleach kill bacteria and viruses and can be sprayed or wiped over almost any surface requiring sterilisation.
Infections spread easily in hospital environments due to the close proximity of a large number of patients and staff. It is not only patients that are at risk of catching an infection in hospital – for doctors and nurses it is an inherent occupational hazard. Nowadays infections caused by microbes such as MRSA or C. Diff are becoming increasing immune or incompatible with currently available antibiotics, which has led to the rise of so-called ‘superbugs’ in hospitals. These bugs spread through contact with other people or contaminated surfaces and can lead to serious illness or death. However, the spread of these infections can be limited by disinfection of surfaces, floors and medical instruments with bleach, which kills even antibiotic-resistant strains.
The risk of spreading infection is also high in the food preparation industry. There are many common food pathogens such as salmonella and E.Coli. Using bleach, these can be kept at bay by proper sterilization of surfaces and tools used to prepare food.