Skip to content

Understanding consumer behaviour in the usage of hand sanitisers and establishing their efficacy

Project Reference: 06-2014

Status: Completed

Commencement Date: December, 2014

Project Duration: 6 months


Hands serve as vectors for the transmission of pathogens to food and drink and good hand hygiene is a fundamental element of combatting food borne illness worldwide. This promotes effective handwashing requiring warm water and soap with a reliance on hand sanitizing gels in situations where these are unavailable. 

Indications are that the availability and usage of hand sanitizing gels has increased in recent times. This project, which will include a literature review, will investigate the efficacy and consumer use of hand sanitizer gels on the island of Ireland. In particular the project will ascertain:

  • the frequency and circumstances in which they are used
  • their efficacy in removing foodborne pathogens, including norovirus, in comparison to hand-washing with soap and water
  • consumer understanding of their efficacy and appropriate use
  • the barriers to the use of soap and water for hand washing amongst consumers
  • the alcohol and antiseptic contents of hand sanitisers
  • the presence or absence of anti-microbial product labelling.

Principal Contractor(s):

Dr Moira Dean, Queen’s University Belfast


Single supplier



Hand sanitisers - their use and efficacy

Safefood logo

The site content is redirecting to the NI version.