Cross Contamination in Cleaning

serving restaurant customers

We often relate the word cross-contamination to food and beverages however, it can also occur unintentionally during cleaning. You might have seen a restaurant employee use the bathroom but not wash their hands then go back to serving the customers. Or maybe a bartender wiping a floor spill using a bar towel then later uses it to wipe the counter in front of you. These are but a few of the cross-contamination scenarios you all witness on a regular basis. That’s why businesses are asked to train their employees regarding these things or better yet hire a commercial cleaning company to do the cleaning for them. However, ensure that your commercial cleaning company is in the know about preventing cross-contamination issues, if not they could be making you, your employees, and your customers sick.


What is Cross Contamination?

Cross-contamination is the act of transporting germs and bacteria from one place in a facility to another. The term cross-contamination is commonplace in a variety of industries, but many facility managers may be unaware of what the term entails and how it affects their business. Cross-contamination poses a severe concern to the food and healthcare industries, but it also poses a threat to any shared or communal place. 


In healthcare industries, the majority of the people inside them are sick which results in a heavier germ load. Cross-contamination is likely to happen in these places if you aren’t careful and this minor mistake can lead to an increasing number of sick people. In the food industry, cross-contamination is a huge problem since there are so many people being served that any problems with cross-contamination can quickly make a large number of people ill. 


However, this does not mean that other industries are not at risk if cross-contamination occurs. It is quite the opposite since in every business or facility, cross-contamination, and cleaning for health are crucial. Not thinking so would put you, your employees, and your clients at risk. 


How to Prevent It?

Create a Cleaning Protocol and Follow It

Having a procedure in place is usually a best practice to help prevent disease spread and cross-contamination. It keeps your cleaning orderly and prevents you from cleaning the same areas more than once.


Don’t overlook the importance of touchpoints. Offices pay special attention to contact areas like handles and knobs. These frequently have a larger concentration of contaminants and will probably be handled once more soon, which could spread contamination in an office that has just been cleaned.


Always Start from Top to Bottom

This is a well-known cleaning procedure alongside back to front, left to right, and floors last. This process aids in preventing the transmission of diseases, dirt, and bacteria to previously cleansed regions. To prevent the spread of mold, mildew, e-Coli, and other diseases, make sure to keep your bathroom and kitchen brushes apart.


Color Code and Categorize

Using a color coding system will make it easier for your staff to remember to swap their cleaning supplies after finishing a specific duty. It is recommended to use the Color Chart created by the British Institute of Cleaning Science to clean specific rooms and fixtures. Below is the Color Chart:

color-coded cleaning materials

  1. Red: sanitary appliances, restroom floors, toilets, and urinals
  2. Yellow: restroom surfaces, including sinks, towel dispensers, hand dryers, soap dispensers, door handles, and walls
  3. Green: general food and bar cleanup in non-preparatory food areas, such as lunchrooms
  4. Blue: areas at low risk of contamination, such as hallways, offices, and classrooms.


If these four colors are not enough for your color coding system then you might want to add your own colors to fit your system.


Utilize the Cleaning Power of Microfiber Cloths and Mops

Sanitary cleaning relies heavily on microfiber. Our cross-contamination protocols are built on microfiber. Microfiber towels and floor mops must be of the highest caliber to effectively attract and contain up to 99% of germs and other diseases. By pushing and wiping the pathogens off the surface while cleaning with cotton, only 33% of the bacteria are really eliminated, increasing the possibility of cross-contamination.


Encourage Hand Washing at All Times

The CDC states that thorough hand washing is the most effective technique to stop the spread of germs. Since you are washing away germs or bacteria you came into contact with before you can spread it to other surfaces within or outside the office. Therefore, good hand washing is necessary at all times when cleaning the office. Since gloves might get contaminated during cleaning and spread bacteria to adjacent rooms, we also suggest using disposable gloves. For instance, after cleaning a toilet, gloves are replaced and discarded.

professional cleaning office floor

Finish Up with the Best Floor Cleaning Methods

Your floor cross-contamination approach may succeed or fail based on how you mop. Here are some suggestions to help your cross-contamination protocols work better:


  1. Switch your microfiber mop pads when they are already soiled.
  2. Never use a mop pad used in the bathroom in other areas of your office.
  3. Try spraying your floor cleaner directly on the floor or on your mop pad.
  4. Use HEPA filter vacuums to capture 99.97% of particles, due to multiple levels of filtration. This is essential in keeping dust from resettling and re-contaminating floors or furniture.


We all want to go to work or get through our days with as little exposure to disease-causing germs as possible. We want a clean workplace, clean schools, hospitals, and anywhere we spend our time. Cross-contamination prevention and green cleaning can go hand-in-hand to ensure clean, healthy facilities for us and the people we care most about. 


Quality commercial cleaning may help us save money, keep workers motivated and happy, improve safety, raise customer and employee satisfaction, lower absenteeism rates, and give the message that we perform outstanding jobs regardless of the nature of our organization. While having a facility that appears clean and well-kept is important, it’s also crucial that your facility be clean on a microscopic level, where you cannot see it. You owe it to your customers, tenants, and workers to ensure that your commercial cleaning firm is taking all reasonable precautions to maintain both their health and their reputation.

At Burgos Cleaning, we ensure that your office is in top condition, create a comfortable working environment, and pass all health and safety standards. We offer our services in New London, Tolland, and Windham County Connecticut, and provide numerous office cleaning services on the commercial level from small businesses to big buildings and complexes. Contact us now to avail the best office cleaning services in town!