How Can Bacterial Growth Be Controlled?

Anywhere you look you will find bacteria, and in some places you look, there will be an overabundance of dangerous bacteria that may cause disease. It's in our bodies, on our hands, on every surface we touch and on the food we eat. Bacteria is alive and well, and we come into contact with it every day. Staying healthy requires diligence and attention to prevent bacteria from multiplying, according to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC).

A mother and daughter are washing peppers at the sink. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wash your hands, suggests the NDDIC. Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent cross contamination and the spread of bacteria.

Step 2

Use hand sanitizers and sanitizer wipes, which are made predominantly from an alcohol-based compound that prevents the spread of bacteria, killing it on contact.

Step 3

Reduce humidity and dampness wherever possible to keepe things dry. Bacteria prefer moisture to propagate, so keeping the air flowing and removing dampness stops it in its tracks.

Step 4

Purchase dehumidifiers for rooms that are damp to remove moisture, encouraging bacteria to die. Empty pool drains, sinks and other areas where standing water exists to discourage bacteria growth.

Step 5

Clean all surfaces with soapy water or wipes that disinfect. Focus on the kitchen and bathrooms. Countertops and cutting boards should get extra attention, especially if meat or poultry has been prepared.

Step 6

Use separate surfaces for preparing meat, poultry and fish. Buy an extra cutting board and place a red mark on the edge to indicate it is only used for preparing animal products. Clean it thoroughly immediately after use to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Step 7

Cook food thoroughly so the cooking process destroys all bacteria, warns the NDDIC. Cover all leftover food immediately and place in the refrigerator to retard the growth of bacteria.

Step 8

Take antibiotics if you become ill with any type of bacterial infection. Keep a topical antibiotic cream around the house to use on open skin wounds.

Step 9

Consume garlic if you prefer a natural substance that acts like an antibiotic. Garlic has antibacterial properties that work to destroy bacteria, according to O. Peter Snyder of the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management. It's best to consume raw garlic, rich in enzymes and nutrients, but odorless capsules may be purchased at your health food store.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Dehumidifier

  • Disinfecting wipes

  • Antibiotics

  • Garlic


Ask your children’s teachers to provide antibacterial soap for play areas and classrooms.


The information offered here is for educational purposes and is not meant to replace medical advice.

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