Do handwashing signs make people safe?

Jon Stewart said in 2002,

“If you think the 10 commandments being posted in a school is going to change behavior of children, then you think “Employees Must Wash Hands” is keeping the piss out of your happy meals. It’s not.”

But that doesn’t stop a health department in Pennsylvania from proclaiming “free handwashing signs help keep petting zoos safe.”

Summer fairs and festivals can get free handwashing signs from the Allegheny County Health Department for their petting zoos and farm animal exhibits.

Signs are nice, but maybe the health department should be using their scarce resources to ensure there are suitable handwashing facilities at such exhibits. And that fair promoters know how to properly clean up poop.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time