Hygiene A-Z

Hygiene A-Z


Airborne Denotes a route for the transmission of infection through inhalation of bacteria or dusts.

Airborne droplet infection 
Denotes a route for the transmission of infection through inhalation of bacteria via the respiratory tract. Pathogens are spread into the surrounding area by sneezing, coughing as well as by exhalation. Typical illnesses that are transmitted by a droplet infection are measles, mumps, chickenpox and influenza.

Semi-synthetic, chemical or genetic compounds, which are produced using bacteria, fungi, lichen and other living organisms, and which are applied for killing and inhibiting the growth of infectious organisms. Antibiotics were originally extracted from naturally formed molecular metabolic products from bacteria or fungi.

Acts against pathogens, killing them off.


Kills bacteria.



The Caliciviridae family of viruses includes non-enveloped, single-strand RNA viruses. These viruses include the norovirus and hepatitis E virus.

Categorisation or division of objects based on specific characteristics.

Contact infection 
Denotes the transmission of pathogens by an already infected individual to a healthy individual through physical contact.

Denotes (undesired) pollution by microorganisms or harmful substances over areas, which can cause harm to health.

Comprises the elimination of invisible organic material and visible dirt in order to prevent the proliferation of microorganisms on surfaces and skin.

Cleaning agent 
Consumables for cleaning objects and surfaces. Examples (Link to products in the area of surface cleaning)



Acts against a contamination or an impurity. The impurity can entail health risks.


Denotes the targeted killing of pathogens on the skin or hands. Hand disinfection is much more effective against pathogens than merely cleaning the hands.


Consumables that are used for the elimination of impurities and disinfection of skin, surfaces and objects. The active agents contained in disinfectants include alcohols, ammonium compounds, amines and aldehydes.

Disinfection plan

Component of a hygiene plan, which defines the procedures and details for disinfection measures. You can find examples of disinfection plans here. (Link to disinfection plan downloads).

Disinfection wipes

Cloths soaked in disinfectant for the disinfection of skin, surfaces and/or objects.


A DIN standard is a voluntary standard formulated under the guidance of a working committee in the DIN German Institute for Standardisation, in which material and immaterial objects are standardised. DIN standards result after proposal by and through the initiative of interested groups (usually German business), whereby correspondence is established among all parties involved. Standards formulated on an international level are typically ISO standards or the European standards EN.



The EU ecological mark recognised by all member states of the European union. Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland have also recognised the label introduced voluntarily in 1992 by an EU regulation. The eco-label helps for marking environmentally-friendly products and services.

EN 1499

European standard for hygienic hand washing

EN 1500

European standard for hygienic hand disinfection

EN 12791

European standard for surgical hand disinfection

EN 14476 (Phase 2, Stufe 1)

Quantitative suspension test with polio, adeno and norovirus; the basis for effectiveness evaluations of surface disinfectants

Enveloped viruses

These viruses are surrounded by a membrane envelope. They can be destroyed by disinfectants, as enveloped viruses are often/comparably less active than non-enveloped viruses. Examples of enveloped viruses: influenza viruses, HBV, HCV and HIV viruses.

Environmental protection

Comprises all measures that are undertaken to preserve and protect the environment. The aim is to conserve biodiversity and all living organisms based on a functional ecosystem.

Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC)

Denotes specific pathogenic strains of the intestinal bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli). This can trigger bloody diarrhoea (enterohaemorrhagic colitis) (in humans).


Abbreviation for extended spectrum beta-lactamases. This involves bacterial enzymes, beta-lactamases, which an extended spectrum of beta-lactamase antibiotics can split.


Final disinfection

After overcoming a disease or relocating a diseased person, a final disinfection is carried out in accordance with the German Protection against Infection Act. This comprises a scrub, room, air or instrument disinfection.

Food industry

The food industry denotes the economic sector in which an essential part of agricultural products are processed for human nutrition.

Food safety

Food safety (also: food hygiene) is a generic term for all measures meant to ensure that food is suitable for the end consumerto eat or drink – so that it will not harm or adversely effect health. Examples (Link to products in the category food safety/food contact)


Denotes the killing of fungi (e.g. yeasts and moulds).


Green washroom

A green washroom takes into account all production processes as well as the origin, production, use and disposal for all products used. Products for the green washroom consider the energy efficiency of the production system in which the are manufactured, the amount of natural resources used, the emissions caused and the packaging used for transport as well as the recycling options.


Hand hygiene

Hand hygiene comprises systematic prophylaxis of the hands and skin for protection against dirt and pathogens. Besides hand cleaning and disinfection, it is an important element in the killing and prevention of microorganisms.

Hand cleaning

Measure for removing dirt from the skin. Hand cleaning is the first, elementary step in hand hygiene. Examples (Link to skin cleaning products).

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste represents waste subject to mandatory monitoring, which differs from conventional waste on account of the pollutants it contains or its consistency, and which must be disposed of separately.

Heavy-duty hand cleaning

Cleaning of heavy soiling (e.g. tar, oil, paint, lacquer) primarily resulting in industry. Examples (Link to heavy-duty products).


Denotes the “science of disease prevention and the maintenance and promotion of health”. This is how the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology defines “Hygiene”. It denotes all precautions aiming to prevent a transmission of pathogens.

Hygiene plan

Hygiene plans defines all measures for the prevention of infections that apply in health institutions. Formulation and compliance is required by the health service, the Robert Koch Institute, the German Protection against Infection Act and the German Ordinance on Biological Substances. Examples (Link to hygiene plan downloads)



In medicine, immunity denotes a biological state in which an organism has developed sufficient mechanisms to fight against potentially harmful microorganisms.

Immune system

Denotes the defence system in the human body against bacteria, viruses, or pathogens.


Denotes the colonisation and growth of potentially harmful microorganisms (e.g. bacteria, viruses etc.) in another organism, such as humans.


Inability to retain urine or stools

Instrument disinfection

Comprises cleaning and prevention measures against the contamination of instruments for medical use. Examples (Link to products in the area of medical devices)

ISO standard

The International Organization for Standardization – in short ISO – is the international association of standardisation organisations and as such draws up international standards in all areas

ISO 9001

EN ISO 9001 defines the requirements for a quality management system (QM system), which an organisation must comply with in order to be able to provide products and services, which fulfil customer expectations as well as any official requirements.

ISO 14001

The international environmental management standard ISO 14001 defines internationally recognised requirements for an environmental management system and is part of a family of standards. This family of standards contains numerous further standards for various areas of environmental management, including life cycle assessments, environmental performance indicators and appraisal. It can be applied to both manufacturing companies as well as companies providing services.

ISO 22716

ISO 22716:2007 is the preferred standard for the cosmetics industry within the EU and ensures compliance with the laws and regulations of the European Commission with directives for the production, monitoring, storage and shipping of cosmetic products. The primary aim of this standard is to increase the safety of the end product and protect consumers.



Killing all yeasts

Limited virucidal

Denotes the specific inactivation of (primarily/predominantly enveloped) viruses.



Comprise an accumulation of various types of fungi, which proliferate on an organic material (e.g. foods), forming tiny fungal threads (hyphae).


Abbreviation for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium can cause pneumonia or wound infections and is resistant to many antibiotics.



The noroviruses are highly infectious viruses that are responsible for gastrointestinal inflammation (gastroenteritis).



Comprise all microorganisms that can cause harmful health developments in other organisms. Pathogens can be bacteria, algae, viruses as well as fungi, amongst many others.


Podology denotes alternative medicine for the foot.


Prophylaxis, aversion.

Protective gloves

Special gloves (as part of personal protective equipment) in order to provide protection against hazards and the transmission of bacteria.


Quality control

Denotes the objective analysis of the extent to which a product corresponds to the required/defined standards.



Reuse of raw materials already used/utilised after treatment.


Repeated contamination.


Abbreviation for Robert Koch Institute

RKI effective range A

Designation of the Robert Koch Institute, concerning effectiveness when using a disinfectant for the treatment of fungi and bacteria.

RKI effective range B

Designation of the Robert Koch Institute, concerning effectiveness when using a disinfectant for the treatment of viruses.


Denotes an acquired ability to perform a certain activity very quickly and reliably through prolonged practice.



These pathogenic intestinal bacteria are one of diverse causes of food poisoning. Salmonella are rod-shaped bacteria, which can cause different diseases in humans and animals. In most cases, they are the main cause of food poisoning and/or diarrhoea.


Gram-positive bacteria, which form clusters (cocci) in a culture. They are the most important cause of septic surface infections and can frequently be the cause of food poisoning, for example.


Absence of reproducible germs such as microorganisms and viruses


Denotes a procedure for the removal or elimination of living microorganisms (e.g. viruses, fungi and bacteria), as well as in their dormant stages (e.g. spores).

Surface disinfection

Denotes the disinfection of surfaces and objects.

Skin care

Skin care is an essential element of personal body care in order to retain and improve the skin’s protective barriers.

Skin protection

Comprises all measures that are undertaken to protect skin subject to high external stress – in particular the hands – so as to prevent penetration by pollutants and irritants. Examples (Link to skin protection products)

Skin protection plan

Skin protection plans outline measures that are undertaken to minimise risks to the skin, as well as the use of preparations for disinfection, cleaning, protection and care. Examples (Link to skin protection plans - downloads)


Tough Soils

Stubborn soiling (e.g. oil, paint, lacquer).



Denotes the inactivation/disabling of enveloped and non-enveloped viruses.