As we have seen in the news lately, norovirus can be a wicked thing. During the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, almost 200 attendees were diagnosed with norovirus. Highly contagious, it spreads easily and can hit you hard with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; it can take down the healthiest of us. There is no specific cure, but keeping hydrated is the most important factor in your recovery.
The fact that you can get if from infected people, contaminated surfaces or food and water, makes it tough to stop. Norovirus is the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from packaged food in North America. Most outbreaks occur in the food services industry, and is spread by touching the food, surfaces or each other while infected.
The health inspector is coming to check your safe food handling practices. Don’t panic! All you need to clean safely is a 3 compartment sink, soap, hot water, sanitizer and our test strips. Watch the video below and you should pass with flying colors.
Litmus paper is the most basic way you can test if a liquid is acidic (pH<7) or basic/alkaline (pH>7). Blue litmus paper turns red in acid and red litmus turns blue in alkaline. What could be simpler? It turns out there’s more to it than you thought.
Ammonia is a simple inorganic molecule with the formula NH3. It has many important industrial and agricultural uses. Ammonia’s low molecular weight (17.031 vs water 18.01528) it useful a tool compound but is also toxic. Two simple and inexpensive ammonia leak detection methods are discussed.
Norovirus, aka Norwalk, is in the news again. It’s sometimes called “stomach flu” but has nothing to do with any influenza virus. It does, however, deliver some nasty symptoms above and beyond your standard winter cold. There are no vaccines or antibiotics that can prevent or relieve symptoms but you can reduce your chances of catching it.
Chlorine bleach is an inexpensive and widely used chemical for sanitizing and disinfecting in restaurants, daycare and hospitals. The recommended concentrations for these can vary by as much as a factor of 50!. Unfortunately, the labels on off the shelf supermarket products are of little use when trying to dilute bleach correctly for most of these uses.