‘Rufus’ on hand to help children under five

“Rufus the Handwashing Hero” is the star of a new free educational resource pack featuring a storybook, sink poster and sticker set, which has been arriving in more than 3,500 childcare providers across the country in recent weeks.

Developed by safefood with the support of Early Childhood Ireland, it launches the latest phase of their Handwashing programme, which aims to help make learning about good handwashing habits fun for under 5s and help keep bacteria like E.coli from spreading. 


The storybook, catchy song and easy-to-remember five steps of handwashing from safefood  – Wet; Soap; Rub; Rinse and Dry, reinforces the message.

“Rufus the Handwashing Hero” is the star of a new free educational resource pack developed by safefood with the support of Early Childhood Ireland. Pictured at the launch were Mason Wilson-Orr Mangan, 5 from Swords and Noa Belle Doyle, 5 from Killester. (Picture: Marc O’Sullivan)

Person-to-person spread remains one of the most common transmission routes for E.coli infections.

“We know from our own research that the vast majority of childcare professionals are aware of the risks of harmful bacteria like E.coli,” commented Ray Dolan, Chief Executive, safefood.

“Handwashing is one of the best ways to stay safe, reduce the chances of spreading this bacteria and prevent food-poisoning. Using this great resource will help them maintain this high level of awareness while teaching this lifelong skill to the children in their care.” 

For more information visit www.safefood.eu