Festival Hygiene Tips from Biomaster

The UK festival scene is booming with more and more of us each year braving the elements to spend a long weekend camping out and watching our favourite bands.

Anyone who has ever been to an outdoors music festival has a hygiene horror story, from eating a dodgy burger to a trip to a less than clean portaloo, but what can you do to avoid becoming ill?

Read on for 10 tips from Biomaster for practicing good hygiene this festival season:

1. Keep your hands clean

Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways of stopping bacteria spreading so wash them before eating, after going to the toilet or if you get them muddy.  Using regular liquid soap and water can remove both dirt and germs but an alcohol based hand sanitiser can help in between washes.

2. Pack a hygiene kit

Packing things like wet wipes, hand sanitiser and even your own toilet roll can help you freshen up even if there is a long queue for the showers.  Good hygiene starts with you, so by keeping up your own personal hygiene you can be sure that you’re doing your bit.

3. Keep mud out of your tent

With the British summer often being more rain than shine, mud is normally a headliner at any festival.  As some are hosted on farmland, bacteria like Campylobacter, E. coli and Salmonella can contaminate the soil from animals so keep muddy boots outside of your tent if you can and bring a separate bag for your dirty clothes.

4. Try to keep dry

If the inevitable downpour does put a dampener on your day then try to dry off as quickly as possible with a clean towel.  Wearing dry socks with appropriate footwear can help against blisters and stop any potential fungal infections building up.

5. Keep hydrated…

It’s not just a good way of staving off the effects of too much warm beer, staying hydrated means that your immune system isn’t put under any unnecessary stress and can help you fight off any bugs.

6. …with clean water

Whether it’s from bottled water or water from a tap on-site, always make sure that you use water from a safe source for drinking, brushing your teeth or washing up after preparing food.

7. Watch where you eat

Festival food can vary from a greasy burger to artisanal treats but wherever you’re eating from ensure the hygiene rating is a 4 or 5, the stall looks visibly clean and that staff are washing their hands before handling food.  If you can, pick a vendor where the food is cooked fresh in front of you and eat it while it’s hot.

8. Campsite cooking

If you’re avoiding the expensive stalls for campfire cooking, keep food covered and stored in a cool box.  As with cooking at home, wash your hands before and after handling raw food, use separate utensils for raw meat and ready to eat foods and clean and dry any equipment used.

9. Brave the portaloos…

Although portaloos have a bad reputation, there are still ways of using them and staying hygienic.  Wash your hands properly afterwards and use your sleeves or elbows on surfaces or handles to stop your hands contracting any bugs.

10. …and don’t use the grounds

As much as it might be tempting to avoid the queues, using the festival grounds as a toilet can be unhygienic, not only for fellow revelers, but for wildlife and fish as the water table and streams can become contaminated.  In recent years, Glastonbury festival has run several campaigns to raise awareness of the environmental issues surrounding this.


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