Common Cross-Contamination Hazards

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Common Cross-Contamination Hazards

Whether in the health care industry or the food industry, common cross-contamination hazards are always present. These contaminants can cause debilitating illness if the proper sanitation procedures are not followed. However, they can be mitigated and eradicated altogether with the proper equipment. You must be aware of the most common risks of cross-contamination to prevent your work environment from endangering yourself and others.


Articles of clothing such as shirts, pants, and shoes can transport contaminants from the outside into your work environment. These possible contaminants can also attach themselves while you’re inside your work building where you unknowingly bring material from one section to another.

The Correct Protective Clothing

When working in multiple different areas, you’ll need disposable garb that can be easily thrown away, such as gloves and smocks. One of the most common cross-contamination hazards is material being tracked in by shoes. Shoe covers reduce this risk while being easily disposable.


Pests and small critters can find ways into your workspace, whether through an open door or burrowing through the walls. Some of these pests include:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Flies
  • Cockroaches

They can all carry harmful bacteria and spread it throughout your work area, infecting surfaces with their germs and leaving droppings which can also contaminate areas.

Pest Control

When you realize your establishment has a pest problem, you need to immediately contact a pest control company. The longer animals and insects remain, the more wide-spread the contamination will be. They’ll also be more difficult to remove.


No matter if they are tools in a science lab, a medical lab, or equipment for food preparation, instruments can easily and routinely cause cross-contamination. Residue can be left behind, and while some leftover material can be easily spotted, many times they’re microscopic. This can go unnoticed by the next person using that tool, unknowingly spread contaminants throughout their workplace.

Wash Tools Before and After Use

Your equipment that touches multiple objects throughout the day must be routinely washed. The best way to cut down on contamination is to wash any instruments after use. However, there will be times when people forget to clean tools after they’re done with them, which makes it important to wash them before use as well.