THIS FROM the Department of Over-the-Top: In 2015, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., suggested that restaurants be allowed to “opt out” of certain regulations, such as employees washing their hands. “I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy [of employees washing hands] as long as they post a sign that says, ‘We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom.’ ” Huh?

Drs. Oz Roizen sig

Although posting a sign that says “Employees must wash hands” is no guarantee they’ll do it, folks need reminding of the importance of clean hands — in a restaurant, hospital, gym or wherever germs can spread illness. It’s scientifically indisputable!

A study published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that only about 6% of folks wash their hands effectively. So, here’s a refresher course from Dr. Mike’s Cleveland Clinic (where hand-washing is monitored before any caregiver touches any patient or patient’s device) on how to wash your hands in a public restroom so you are protected from infections that can linger on public surfaces.

• Grab a paper towel and set it aside.

• Wet your hands thoroughly.

• Apply soap and lather up for 20 seconds on front and back of hands.

• Rinse hands well.

• Use the set-aside paper towel to turn off faucets.

• Dry hands thoroughly using another towel. Damp hands more likely to pick up bacteria than dry hands.

If you use hand sanitizer, it should contain 60% alcohol.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show.” Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chairman of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit

Tuesday, February 18, 2020