Author Topic: Handling a blue, a cam, a meunster, cleaning hands in between  (Read 1457 times)

Offline Tropit

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I have a wide variety of cheeses in my little cave.  when I check them out each morning, I always worry that I'll innoculate my cam with the blue, or my blue with my b. linens left on my fingers.  So, I have found that I if I make a small solution of Star San and water to wash my hands between cheeses, it really cuts down on cross contamination.  It's made a huge difference since I started this practice.  My hands are getting a little dry though.
~Cindy


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Offline MarkShelton

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Re: Handling a blue, a cam, a meunster, cleaning hands in between
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 07:54:24 AM »
I keep a bottle of the alcohol-based hand sanitizer in my kitchen for that purpose also. I'm not sure how effective it is at all the different types of molds, fungus, cultures, etc, but it says it destroys over 99.99% of germs.
Are blue mold spores considered germs, though?
I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.

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Re: Handling a blue, a cam, a meunster, cleaning hands in between
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 09:16:39 AM »
Mark - my background is in clinical microbiology. While the alcohol based sanitizers definitely help, they certainly do NOT kill 99.99% of germs in normal usage. That statement is based on concentrated prolonged contact, not a typical quick wipe down. Clinicians often talk about the LD50 (Lethal Dose 50%). In other words, what dosage of a compound will kill 50% of the "germs" over a specific time period. So, in the lab a concentrated exposure of 2 minutes to an alcohol based sanitizer might be the baseline for LD50 while an exposure of 30 minutes might be required for LD100. These tests also flood the organisms so the conditions are different than a thin layer wiped onto your skin. They can legitimately claim that it kills 99.99% of germs. They just don't tell you how long or under what conditions they are basing that claim. While their label might not be completely inaccurate, it is certainly misleading and helps them sell more sanitizer.

Star San is an acid based germicide and is far more effective. HOWEVER, even Star San bases their results on 2 minutes of contact - they're just more honest on their labeling. I keep a squirt bottle of Star San on the counter and wipe everything, including myself, on a regular basis to avoid contamination. During a make, if I walk away and do something else, I always re-apply the Star San. Just habit.

Bacteria, molds, fungus, yeasts are all "germs". However, some people like to reserve the term for disease causing or problem organisms. So when we talk about starter bacteria then in that context bacteria = good. When we talk about contaminant or coliform bacteria you might refer to them as germs = bad. Just semantics.
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Offline Gina

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Re: Handling a blue, a cam, a meunster, cleaning hands in between
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 10:49:08 AM »
Thanks for the explanation, very good to known. I've been using the alcohol sanitizer on my hands after water/soap washing, and have several bottles of the stuff positioned here and there. I wont toss it, but will also now make up some more spray bottles of star-san for hands. (Star-hand?)
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Offline JohnnyBHammerer

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Re: Handling a blue, a cam, a meunster, cleaning hands in between
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 11:32:12 AM »
StarSan works in 30 seconds according to the guy who started 5 Star, but government regulations require them to say 2 minutes on the label.  StarSan is murder on my hands.  I use nitrile gloves if doing repeated StarSan treatment of my hands.
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Re: Handling a blue, a cam, a meunster, cleaning hands in between
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 03:22:07 PM »
Everyone is sensitive to practically everything in varying degrees. Other than a little drying, Star San seems to have little impact on me. Of course I hit the skin lotion pretty hard when I'm done making cheese. I also do not use commercial hand soaps. Gotta love those creamy goat's milk soaps.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline MarkShelton

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Re: Handling a blue, a cam, a meunster, cleaning hands in between
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 08:00:30 PM »
That's good to know! Of course, thorough hand washing is the best start, and following it up with the hand sanitizer probably helps as well, though I may start using a little spray bottle of star san as an after-washing sanitizer given that the alcohol based sanitizer isn't quite what the manufacturer makes it out to be.
I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.