In food safety study, 25% of participants contaminated salad with raw chicken —

In a research geared toward assessing the impression of washing poultry on kitchen contamination, researchers discovered that greater than 1 / 4 of research individuals contaminated salad with uncooked poultry — together with many research individuals who didn’t wash the poultry. The research highlights the significance of hand-washing and cleansing and sanitizing the kitchen in an effort to scale back the danger of foodborne sickness when cooking at dwelling.

Washing uncooked poultry will not be really useful, as a result of considerations about inadvertently contaminating different meals and surfaces — and growing the danger of foodborne sickness.

“We needed to know what impact an academic intervention would have on getting individuals to cease washing poultry earlier than cooking, and what impact any ensuing change in habits may need on decreasing contamination within the kitchen,” says Ellen Shumaker, corresponding writer of the research and an extension affiliate at North Carolina State College. “We additionally needed to get a greater thought of how, if in any respect, washing poultry really led to elevated contamination within the kitchen.”

For the research, researchers recruited 300 dwelling cooks who stated they washed poultry earlier than cooking it. The researchers despatched meals security data to 142 of the research individuals by way of electronic mail, outlining risk-reduction efforts — together with the advice to not wash uncooked poultry throughout meals preparation. The remaining 158 research individuals didn’t obtain the training intervention.

All 300 research individuals have been then invited to check kitchens geared up with video cameras that filmed meal preparation. Individuals have been requested to prepare dinner hen thighs and put together a salad. After getting ready the hen thighs, however earlier than placing the hen within the oven, individuals have been referred to as out of the kitchen to conduct a brief interview. Individuals have been then despatched again into the kitchen to prepare dinner the hen thighs, put together the salad, and clear the kitchen as they’d at dwelling.

What the research individuals did not know was that the hen thighs have been inoculated with a innocent pressure of micro organism, which the researchers would be capable of detect. This allowed researchers to swab surfaces within the kitchen to see whether or not any cross-contamination occurred through the meals preparation and cooking course of.

When research individuals left the kitchen to conduct the interview, researchers swabbed the kitchen to establish any potential contamination. This course of was repeated after every participant had accomplished cooking the meal and cleaned the kitchen. The ready salad was additionally examined for doable contamination.

Ninety-three % of the individuals who obtained the intervention didn’t wash the hen, as in comparison with 39% of the individuals who didn’t obtain the intervention.

Nevertheless, the researchers have been shocked to see that individuals who did wash the hen and individuals who did not wash the hen had related ranges of contamination from the uncooked hen of their ready salads.

So what offers?

“We predict the salad contamination stems from individuals doing a poor job of washing their fingers after dealing with the uncooked hen, and/or doing a poor job of sanitizing the sink and surrounding surfaces earlier than rinsing or dealing with the salad,” Shumaker says.

“No matter whether or not individuals washed their hen, the kitchen sinks grew to become contaminated by the uncooked hen, whereas there was comparatively little contamination of close by counters,” Shumaker says. “This was a bit stunning, for the reason that typical knowledge had been that the danger related to washing hen was as a result of water would splash off of the hen and contaminate surrounding surfaces. As an alternative, the sink itself was changing into contaminated, even when the hen wasn’t being washed.

“Washing the hen remains to be not a good suggestion, however this research demonstrates the necessity to give attention to stopping contamination of sinks and emphasizing the significance of hand-washing and cleansing and sanitizing surfaces.”

The work was achieved with help from FSIS.

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Supplies offered by North Carolina State College. Unique written by Matt Shipman. Notice: Content material could also be edited for type and size.