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The Germ City: Clean Hands, Healthy

People hand washing program is a science based, education program to improve the effectiveness and frequency of hand washing behaviors in adults and children. Initially developed at Washington State University Extension, the program has reached more than 400,000 participants since its inception in 1996. Germ City is designed for use at fairs, festivals, elementary and middle schools, food service operations, and health care facilities. Germ City is appealing to youth, teens, and adults with positive, measurable behavioral impacts related to hand washing practices.

Germ City is a program in progress. In response to community needs, Washington State University Extension educators explored ways to deliver hand washing education programs to large groups of elementary school children.

The name Germ City comes from the concept that there is an unseen Germ City
on your hands. The literal Germ City on the hands of Americans is clearly linked to foodborne illness from farm to table. The primary function of the Germ City program is as an educational tool to increase awareness and facilitate meaningful changes in hand washing behaviors.



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