More recently, stories about staph have crept into the public spotlight as several National Football League (NFL) players have contracted the infection.

Since news of staph infections, particularly Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), broke a little over a year ago, distributors have been working with customers to help them prevent people from contracting staph in their facilities. Through this period of time, customers have been consistently seeking advice from their distributors on how to fend off outbreaks.

The news of NFL players getting staph infections has not spiked additional interest from customers, says Mark Cadell, president of Dutch Hollow Janitorial Supply, Belleview, Ill. Rather, MRSA concerns have remained fairly high and consistent over the past year, he says.

Customers want to maintain a healthy, clean environment and most are cautious when it comes to preventing outbreaks in their facilities. End users have been proactive in coming to the distributor looking for products to help them prevent MRSA.

“All of our customers have been interested in these products (disinfectants and sanitizers),” says John Ricchuti, buyer for D A Specialty Co., Inc., Akron, Ohio. “I find it easy to sell because they are being cautious and have had interest in the products.”

Along with offering products tailored to stave off the infection, distributors have gone through manufacturer-sponsored training programs that demonstrate the proper way to eliminate staph and make sure their salespeople are well versed on the products used to prevent the infections.

“We make sure our sales staff knows a lot about the product before they talk about it with the customer,” says Cadell. “It is important that they ask the right questions of the customer.”

Even with all the product offerings that help to prevent the infections and the presentations and training programs offered by distributors, it falls on the customer to clean thoroughly and correctly if they want to prevent staph infections in their facility.

“It amazes me that a lot of people still have no clue about disinfecting,” says Mike Hodgkinson, partner in American Chemical & Equipment Co., Inc., Latham, N.Y. “They think if you put a disinfectant and water on a surface it will get rid of everything.”