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4 Common Causes of Cross-Contamination

4 Common Causes of Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination impacts mask safety


Before the spring of 2020, most people who heard the words “cross-contamination” might picture a fresh vegetable getting placed on a cutting board directly after raw chicken was removed. That’s if they imagined anything at all – most of us aren’t in the food service industry!

But with the arrival of the novel coronavirus came all sorts of novel concerns, and more than ever we are worried about containing the spread of germs and other pathogens. Let’s take a look at the four guiltiest suspects when it comes to cross-contamination.

Calling All Germs

What do you think has more bacteria: a public toilet or your cell phone?

Surprise, it’s not even close! Your phone has ten times as many bacteria as the seat of a public toilet. This doesn’t mean you need to start touching more toilet seats, but you should probably put more thought into what you touch before and after you make that next text, call or FaceTime.

Imagine a scenario where you’re out grocery shopping. You’re checking the nutritional info on a box of organic pasta, when your phone rings. You pick it up and now any germs from other people who touched that product have quickly traveled from the box to your phone to your face. That’s a classic case of cross-contamination.

Virus Check on Aisle 12

While we’re at the grocery store, that cart you’re pushing around is a nasty source of cross-contamination. It’s not too hard to figure out why – when you put your hands where a strangers’ hands have just been, then you run the risk of picking up their germs. Even if you wipe down the handle when you grab a cart, there’s still the possibility for cross-contamination with every box you touch, and with every package of meat the butcher hands you.

Grocery carts also retain pathogens that come from food products – experts agree that almost all shopping carts have detectable levels of E. coli, and this dangerous strain is frequently found on reusable shopping bags too.

Hell in a Handbag

If we’re talking about bags, none is more essential than a purse! In fact, a purse is so essential that it almost never gets emptied out and cleaned. Who has the time?

But a study of 138 purses found that over 95% of them were growing at least a single strain of bacteria. Those bacteria might include “staphylococcus, micrococcus, bacillus and enterococcus,” according to infectious disease expert, Michelle Jones.

If you’re storing your mask for any period of time, throwing it in your purse is throwing your most valuable tool for protection in a cauldron of contaminants. But you can give yourself an extra layer of protection if that mask is in a face mask case by maskSAFE.

Masking the Problem

Need one more reason to keep your mask in a case? You don’t just need to prevent outside objects from contaminating your mask – you also need to prevent your mask from contaminating other objects.

It’s important to follow proper safety mask removal procedure every time you take a mask off, and to make sure that you don’t let either side (inside or out) come in contact with a surface anyone else might touch. The inside surface can transmit any pathogens you’re carrying, even if you don’t show symptoms. And the outside surface of a mask is rendered pointless if you place that barrier in your own pocket with a phone or other object that can be contaminated.

We live in a contaminated world – there are bacteria and viruses everywhere. It’s more important than ever to protect ourselves to the greatest extent possible. Wearing a mask is a crucial first step, and protecting that face covering with a maskSAFE is the most logical next step. Our collection is sure to have a style and size that fits every member of your family. Shop now!

-the maskSAFE Family

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