One In Five Aussies Don't Wash Their Hands After Going To The Loo

Despite being one of the first lessons you learn as a child, people are not washing their hands after going to the toilet.

New research released by the Food Safety Information Council reveals more than 20 percent -- that's one big fifth of the country -- admit that they don't always pass by the sink on their way of the bathroom.

Wait it gets worse. The findings also indicated almost 40 percent of people don't always wash their hands before touching food.

"Good handwashing, using running water, soap and drying hands thoroughly is a basic public health message that people seem to be forgetting," the council's communication director Lydia Buchtmann said.

"This behaviour could be contributing to the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning each year, not to mention spreading viral infections such as cold, influenza and norovirus."

Image: Getty

Butchmann also said there was a difference between the genders when it comes to scrubbing up.

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Only 76 percent of men were likely to wash their hands after attending the restroom, compared with 82 percent of women.

When it comes to washing before touching food, men came in second again, with 59 percent doing the deed compared to 66 percent of women.

According to Health Direct, frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness.

Following the findings, the food safety council are trotting out an education package to reminding Australians how to wash their hands.

"You can time 20 seconds by singing 'Happy Birthday To You'," the adult information poster recommends.

"(But perhaps not out loud)," it adds.