Friday, 20 July, 2018


Nearly everyone is washing their hands wrong before eating, health officials say

Most consumers wash hands incorrectly, USDA study finds You're Probably Not Washing Your Hands Right, Study Says
Patty Aguilar | 04 July, 2018, 20:37

20 seconds feels like a ridiculously long time but if you're handling food or leaving the loo, it is worth making sure that you have really clean hands.

As a result, we're putting ourselves and our families and guests at risk of contracting potentially serious food-borne illness, such as salmonella, norovirus and E. coli, the report warns.

363 people were tested in kitchen test facilities in North and SC (remind us never to eat there), and just about all of them failed the minimum cleanliness levels, with numerous members not even bothering to dry there hands after not washing them properly, allowing them to air-dry around the food. "By simply washing your hands properly, you can protect your family and prevent that bacteria from contaminating your food and key areas in your kitchen", acting deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety at the USDA, Carmen Rottenberg, stated.

Not only did the participants washing their hands the wrong way, but the USDA found that many of them didn't dry their hands after washing them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 million people are hit with food illnesses each year.

After a thorough observation, the researchers found that only 3 percent followed the necessary steps to properly wash their hands. Other mistakes spotted were people's failure to get their hands wet and not use soap at all.

The CDC warns that those who are at a higher risk of a foodborne illness include children, older adults, and those with a weaker immune system. The broader study was linked to food preparation habits like thermometer usage. It was about how to use a cooking thermometer correctly - the type you sink into a turkey. Then, rub both hands with the soap.

But because hand washing is often done hastily, or not at all, it's little surprise that food poisoning is common in the U.S.

According to the paper, very few of the participants rubbed their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds - deemed enough time to get the grime off - and nearly half didn't wet their hands with water pre-wash. The researchers also observed that individuals only washed their hands after a possible cause of cross-contamination - such as handling raw meat - in about a third of instances. Many also didn't dry their hands with a clean towel. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice. The agency said people should wash for a full 20 seconds, followed by drying them using a clean and dry towel.

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