Hand Hygiene Policy

VTH Policy #Bio406

Implementation Date: 12/2009

Date of Last Revision: 6/14/2022

Next Review Due: 6/2025


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: 3/2013

Reviewed by VTH Board: N/A


Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: 6/14/2022

Subject to modification by the Biosecurity Subcommittee of the CVM Occupational Health and Safety Committee without approval.

Printable PDF: Hand Hygiene Policy


Personnel should follow hygiene practices with the following procedures. 


In general, gloves are not necessary when handling “normal, healthy” animals. However, hand washing should always be done between patients/animal handling

Procedure (if applicable)

Hand Hygiene

  • Wash hands before eating, drinking, and smoking.
  • Wash hands after:
    o Handling animals
    o Using the toilet
    o After cleaning animal facilities
    o Hands are soiled
  • Keep fingernails short and clean.
  • Do not wear artificial nails when handling animals.
  • Preferably keep hand jewelry minimal when handling animals.

Hand Washing Procedure (Gloves are not a substitute for judicious hand washing)

  • Wet hands with flowing water.
  • Place soap (antibacterial or other) in palm of hands.
  • Rub hands together to make lather.
  • Wash hands for 20-30 seconds (“one Mississippi” = 1 second)
  • Rinse soap from hands.
  • Dry hands with disposable towel.
  • Turn off faucet using the disposable towel as a barrier

Alcohol (60 - 95%) Based Disinfectant
Use when hands are clean and non-soiled.

Definitions (if applicable)

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.



Keywordshand, wash, hygiene, seconds, gloves, soiled, nail, jewelry, soap, disinfect, clean, water   Doc ID123909
OwnerJenny C.GroupUofI College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created2023-02-07 16:35 CSTUpdated2023-10-09 11:42 CST
SitesUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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