Preventing cross contamination

April 8, 2019

Cross contamination occurs when bacteria or germs are moved and exposed to areas which could result in potentially harming an individual. For example, one in 25 people become ill due to hospital room cross contamination, sometimes with something worse than what they went in with. In the case of cleaning, it is a top priority that cross contamination is prevented to ensure the health of the individuals in the area; these four steps taken by commercial cleaning companies will help to do just that.




You wouldn’t use the same cloth to clean a floor and a counter top, so why would you use the same mop to clean a washroom and a clinical room?

Equipment is the largest culprit in cross contamination, for example using the same sponge in a toilet and in a kitchen can cause the bacteria to be ingested by an individual. It is important that commercial cleaning companies use different, designated equipment for every area they tend to. This leads us onto the next point of colour coding.


Implementation of a colour coding system

Within commercial cleaning companies, several people can be responsible for cleaning different areas and it is impossible to guarantee every person remembers which wash cloth cleaned which area.

Implementing an easy to learn colour coding system ensures that every team member uses the correct coloured tools in the correct area, thus safeguarding against cross contamination. At aZtec Commercial Cleaning we use the following industry standard colour coding system: red for general washroom, yellow for clinical areas, green for kitchens and bars and blue for general low risk areas; for example, offices and waiting rooms.



Separation and Organisation

Using different equipment for different areas is key to preventing cross contamination whilst cleaning. It is therefore nonsensical to put all the tools back in the same cleaning cupboard with cloths or mop heads touching. It is important to ensure that all equipment and supplies are separated into a sectioned area of the cupboard, for example by wall clips, or keeping cloths and mops in corresponding buckets to reduce the chance of exposure.


Training and supervising

To prevent cross contamination, it is vital that all staff are fully trained on the colour coding system, as well as having a reference poster or booklet. It is just as essential that after this initial training, repeat training and supervising is put in place to make sure that the system is followed correctly on a daily basis. To quote Albert Einstein, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand”, once your employees understand the importance of preventing cross contamination and how to do so, they can put it into practice every day.


Cross contamination can easily occur within offices, clinical rooms, washrooms and kitchens by not using the correct methods or not being vigilant enough. Preventing cross contamination will benefit you and your company through a safer and healthier work environment. Healthier employees mean more productivity, lower costs and all-round better results for the company.  It is important to aZtec Commercial Cleaning that these guidelines are met and upheld with quality; within the services we offer.


Could you benefit from hiring a commercial cleaner for your office? If you are unsure about what would be the best solution for your business, or if you would like to learn more about our office cleaning solutions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch >