Due to the ongoing Pandemic, we strive to educate ourselves better. We try to understand the science affecting our health. And how we can work better to prevent bad bacteria and viruses away. Most bacteria are harmful, but there are those beneficial to our body. As we understand how bacteria works, we also understand its effects on our body. The study of bacterial growth allows us further to foresee and prevent possible illnesses.
What Are The 4 Phases Of Bacterial Growth?
Bacteria is one of the fastest reproducing organisms in the world. Some doubled as fast as 4 minutes. The 4 phases of bacterial growth are as follows:
- The Lag Phase: This phase represents the stage for active growth. At this point, the bacteria grows larger in size to prepare for reproduction. Although there is an increase in volume, there is no increase in number yet.
- Log or Exponential Growth Phase: Bacteria undergo systematic growth and double in number. This is also the stage where antibacterial substances are most effective.
- Stationary Phase: Due to many factors, the growth of bacteria cells slows down. Then reaches a plateau where the number of new bacteria equals the number of bacteria dying.
- Death Phase: After exhausting all the nutrients, more and more cells die. If there are more cells dying than cells created this stage becomes the death phase.
What Are The 6 Conditions For Bacterial Growth?
It is frightening to know that bacteria can grow that fast. Especially knowing that bacteria is not visible to the naked eye. That is why it is helpful to identify the conditions that encourage bacterial growth. This allows us to know which conditions to cut and prevent. There are 6 identified conditions that allow bacterial growth faster.
- Food: Like any other living organisms Bacteria also needs food to survive. It is especially happy with carbohydrates and proteins such as meats, dairy, and eggs.
- Acidity: Based on pH level, bacteria will most likely strive in neutral to acidic ranges of 7.5 to 4.6 level. A condition most food lies in.
- Temperature: Bacteria grows in a temperature between 4°C to 60°C. This is the danger zone in Food industry. Going out of the danger zone does not stop the growth of bacteria instead it only slows it down. This is why it is important to store perishable food at the right temperature right away.
- Time: With the right amount of time and rate of growth ,bacteria grows at an exponential number. For this reason, you should store perishable food at the right temperature or cook it as soon as possible.
- Oxygen: Bacteria need oxygen to survive and multiply. With proper processing, food will have no exposure to oxygen. Although, there are some bacteria that can still survive without oxygen.
- Moisture: Bacteria need moisture. And it will continue to grow with the presence of moisture. That is why dry goods have less time to get spoiled as compared to wet or moist food.
How To Prevent Bacterial Growth At Home
Knowing the contributors that encourage bacterial growth is an advantage for all. With knowledge, we can act to prevent and maintain safety everywhere. Here are some useful tips you can enforce in your own homes:
(1) Identify High Touch Areas
Conducting proper sanitation in the house especially in areas where most movements happen. Kitchen, sink, and tabletops are common places for bacteria to strive. See other locations listed below:
- Kitchen – including cutting boards, knives, sink and faucets, refrigerator and coffee machine.
- Knobs, handles and switches
- Bathroom – including shower, drain, bath towels and toothbrushes
- Laundry area
- Living room- including remote control, keyboards, telephone and video game controllers
(2) Correct Food Handling
Proper food handling especially for raw food is vital. These should not linger outside the recommended safe temperature. Setting the correct refrigerator temperature ensures the safety of your food. If not stored, cook food under the right temperature.
You should also prevent cross contamination from happening. Use separate sets of knives and chopping boards for poultry, cooked meat, fruits etc.
(3) Frequent Hand Washing
Dirty hands can contaminate everything we touch including our face and mouth. We also spread the bacteria to all areas that we hold and use generating more bacteria. Wash hands often or opt for hand sanitizers and alcohols in case hand washing is not possible.
(4) Sanitize Or Disinfect Personal Items
Due to frequent use, we often forget to sanitize items that we use everyday. Items include phones, keys, make up bags, purses, wallets, and headphones. Sanitizing wipes safe for gadgets and personal items are available in most stores.
(5) Practice personal hygiene
Covid 19 reinforced the importance of personal hygiene now more than ever. We take better care of ourselves and focus on cleanliness and hygiene even when we are at home.
Pets can also bring bacteria and germs into our own homes especially if they go outside. Diseases brought by pets to their owners are common. Wiping their paws or washing them before entering your homes can be beneficial for you and your pets. It is also necessary to wash pet bowls, toys, and pet accessories that harbors germs.
It is every home owners goal to live in a clean, safe, and sanitary home. A well-kept home. And making this possible is more challenging because of the world’s current situation. But, with the right research and consistent approach, it is possible to be safe in your own homes. Advancing technology and right products makes managing our home doable for our family.