Traveling has many advantages for me and one that I like the most is being able to read publications from the various cities I visit. Recently, I was in the Portland, Maine area and the local paper, South Portland - Cape Elizabeth Sentry, had a series of articles dealing with dirty produce. September was National Food Safety Month and two of the articles I found interesting were called "Clean Produce Properly to Avoid Contaminants" and "The Dirty Dozen". The focus of the articles was that the United States and Canada have some of the most stringent standards when it comes to produce. According to one group, there are 12 foods that are most likely to contain the highest amounts of pesticide residue. The articles provided helpful tips for properly cleaning produce, as well as certains types to be cautious of or avoid purchasing. Also, I started to think of a possible "Dirty Dozen" list for medical device departments. What would it consist of? Perhaps robotic arms, orthopedic shavers and reamers? Or, even flexible endoscopes, bipolar forceps and the bulb and bladder? Regardless, I'm sure you could come up your own list as quickly as I did. As I began reading the articles, I couldn't help but notice they primarily consisted of correctly cleaning produce. One specific point hit home, as far as the current industry standard of medical device reprocessing is concerned, and that was, "moisture encourages bacterial growth" - wow! Ensuring that we're consuming clean produce is as important to a healthy life as ensuring our medical devices are appropriately cleaned for a procedure on a patient. The correlation was simple, yet striking. I suppose my tag line of "Keep it Clean" for medical devices we process daily needs to be added to the produce we eat as well.


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