How important is it to wash your hands properly?
There are a number of dangerous bacteria lurking in our kitchens, which many people do not know about. Researchers have now found that most people do not wash their hands enough before eating, which can lead to various diseases. Ignorance spreads dangerous bacteria in the kitchen and throughout the house.
Scientists from North Carolina State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently found that inadequate hand washing before eating can lead to dangerous illnesses and that about 97 percent of people's hands are not really clean before eating. The doctors now presented the results of their study to the public.
A lack of hand hygiene can trigger cross-contamination
If people do not wash their hands sufficiently before eating, this can lead to a so-called cross-contamination of food and other surfaces, which can then trigger food-related diseases. Humans cannot see, smell or feel bacteria. By washing your hands properly, you can protect your family and prevent bacteria from contaminating your food and key areas in your kitchen, the experts explain.
97 percent of people do not wash their hands properly
For example, the preliminary results of the observational study showed that people do not wash their hands properly in 97 percent of cases. Most people also fail to wash their hands for the necessary 20 seconds. The investigation also made it clear that numerous participants did not dry their hands with a clean towel.
Meat should always be heated sufficiently
The researchers also found that only 34 percent of the participants used a food thermometer to check whether their meat was fried properly. Of the people who use a thermometer, almost half did not heat the meat to the safe minimum temperature, the doctors emphasize in a press release on the test results.
What are the bacteria often transferred to?
The study also showed that the bacteria are often spread from raw poultry to other surfaces and foods in the test kitchen. In 48 percent of the cases, spice containers were also contaminated, which are used in the preparation of meat. In eleven percent of all cases, the bacteria spread over refrigerator handles and in five percent of all cases, salads were contaminated due to cross-contamination.
48 million Americans contract food-borne illnesses
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 48 million Americans develop food-borne illnesses each year. This results in approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, the doctors say. Children, older adults and people with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk.
You should pay particular attention to this when grilling
In line with the barbecue season, the experts remind that people should use a food thermometer and that meat and poultry products must be prepared at the recommended safe temperatures. Beef, pork, lamb and veal should be heated to at least 63 degrees Celsius. Minced meat (e.g. burgers) should be heated to around 71 degrees Celsius before eating. Poultry must be heated to 74 degrees Celsius before it can be consumed safely.
How do I wash my hands properly?
Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling raw meat, poultry, or eggs. Also, make sure you wash your hands for a full 20 seconds, and then always dry your hands with a clean towel, the experts advise. (as)