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Hand Hygiene - CDC or WHO - Nutrition Services

Is there an expectation for individuals passing patient trays at mealtime to use alcohol-based hand rub between each room?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

If the person passing the food tray has, or is likely to have, direct contact with the patient, the answer is yes because both the CDC and WHO guidelines state that hand hygiene is required after direct contact (category IB). Both guidelines also say that individuals should decontaminate hands after contact with inanimate objects in the immediate vicinity of the patient, but this is identified as a Category II by the CDC recommendation. As such, while compliance with the CDC Guidelines is recommended for individuals passing meal trays who do not make direct contact with the patients, it is not required. In contrast, the WHO guidelines require hand hygiene after contact with the patient's environment (category IB).
Manual: Hospital and Hospital Clinics
Chapter: National Patient Safety Goals NPSG
First published date: April 11, 2016 This Standards FAQ was first published on this date.
This page was last updated on October 27, 2021
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