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Consumers are being urged not to pick up more than they bargained for when they do their Christmas shopping. Each year more than 600,000 people contract diseases such as the winter vomiting bug due to poor hand hygiene and cross contamination.

For more than 20 years the Loo of the Year awards have been finding the best places to ‘go’ in the UK. This year they have been joined by Mike Burton, a hygiene consultant with more than 30 years experience, who is on a mission to improve the standard of Britain’s washrooms.

“Good washrooms are good for business,” said Mike, MD of Albany Washroom Services, and sponsor of the Loo of the Year Awards. “People don’t want to use washrooms in shopping centres or shops that are dirty and poorly maintained. Poor facilities reflect badly on businesses.”

Diarrhoea, vomiting, infections and even blood poisoning are all caused by germs that thrive in Britain’s washrooms. Worse, studies show that only three out of every 100 people wash their hands properly after visiting the toilet.

To help in the fight against germs, Albany has produced a three minute video which uses brightly coloured paints to demonstrate how poor hand hygiene and inadequate cleaning lead to cross contamination in washrooms.

Washrooms are a breeding ground for germs such as protozoa and parasitic worms, which can be transferred by hand to hand contact. Coliforms found in faeces contain germs that thrive in unclean environments. In 2006, it cost the UK economy £4 billion in lost productivity through avoidable illness, according to the Confederation of British Industry.

“People need to ensure that they wash and dry their hands properly after using the loo to reduce the risk of cross infection. Crucially, washrooms also need to be effectively maintained and cleaned to ensure they don’t make the situation worse.”

“Our message is clear,” added Mike, “good washrooms are everyone’s business. We should applaud the organisations who understand the importance of good loos and encourage personal hygiene and avoid those who don’t.”


Further information: please contact Janet Rafferty, 07912 295282.

Notes to editors
1. To view the video please visit
2. The Loo of the Year awards are being held at the National Motorcycle Museum on Friday 5 December 2008.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Leapfrogg in the following categories: Health, Home & Garden, for more information visit