My Mom the Family Surgeon

By Dr. John A. Lopes Ph.D.

Did you know you may have a personal surgeon in your home?  In the early days of surgery, a barber performed surgical procedures. People rushed to his salon for minor cuts in the skin, or to get skin poultices and bandages. He even made house calls. How does mom qualify like the earlier surgeons? She trims our hair, cleans cuts on our skin with antibacterial sprays and applies bandages to our sprained ankle. But she certainly qualifies as a modern-day surgeon as she does surgical procedures on other living objects as well. In our clean kitchen she uses shining stainless steel knives, forks and utensils for surgical procedures.

My mom even uses similar procedures as used in the hospital surgery rooms. Mom first cleans and sanitizes her hands with a powerful foaming hand sanitizer approved for sanitizing hands in meat and poultry plants. She takes enough time cleaning hands to meet the required minimum time to disinfect for killing the germs. She even tells you to complete singing one happy birthday song while rubbing hands with foam soap as most germs are spread by contaminated hands. Since she needs to wash her hands many times during her work, she uses SILKY SOFT® a mild but powerful alcohol-free hand sanitizer approved by the USDA.

Mom is very particular about sanitizing contaminated surfaces. spraying PRO-SAN® L RTU spray on even previously cleaned cutting boards and counter tops, stove and refrigerator handles, cleans and disinfects the knives, forks, pots and plates with PRO-SAN® L spray sanitizer and leaves for one to five minutes while she sanitizes her hands. She is environmentally concerned to avoid the many spray sanitizers that are not safe as they may have alcohol and other harmful volatile organic compounds.

Our kitchen is odor free and free of toxic chemicals so that she does not have to use face masks like the hospital surgeons use. However, because she uses some pungent objects like mustard, onions, and pepper that can induce coughing which can spray germs in the kitchen, she uses an antimicrobial oral rinse. She prefers to use alcohol free and sugar free DENTORAL® containing either mint or clove oil. However, she knows I love bubblegum flavored SPRINGKISS® jr mouth wash with xylitol recommended for prevention of dental caries by the World Health Organization.

Like a well-prepared surgeon, who cleans and disinfects the skin before a cut mom cleans and sanitizes the outer surface of fruits and vegetables with a highly fast acting microbicidal US EPA approved PRO-SAN® sanitizer. Leafy vegetables have convoluted surfaces on both sides. It is sometimes hard to sanitize these vegetables. She sprays both the surfaces of leaves or she uses a dipping solution to immerse the leaves in the solution for decontamination. She is aware that contaminated cutting board surfaces as well as contaminated fruits and vegetables can introduce bacteria into the cut food. Just like cut melons from the supermarket and salad makings we often hear about in recall reports for food borne infections. Thanks, mom, for taking such care to keep us safe and healthy.


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