Thursday, 20 September, 2018

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

Hand washing study reveals dirty secrets Most consumers wash hands incorrectly, USDA study finds
Anna Jefferson | 04 July, 2018, 18:59

After recording the entire cooking and cleaning session, the team also noticed alarming departures from proper hand-washing practices - 97 percent of the participants didn't include all the handwashing steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Nearly half of them spread bacteria to spice containers while making burgers, and 11 percent of the time they spread those germs to refrigerator handles.

The study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that most people failed to wash their hands and rub with soap for 20 seconds.

The USDA study also offered guidelines on how to properly wash your hands before a meal or while preparing 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", Carmen Rottenberg, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA, said in a statement.

A new study published Thursday found that the majority of citizens in the U.S. don't clean their hands as they should before eating or cooking. The study was performed by the FSIS, in partnership with experts from RTI International and North Carolina State University. That results in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Children, older adults and those with compromised immune systems are especially at risk.

But even if you manage to cook your food to a "safe internal temperature", that's little use to your family who ends up eating tainted salad because you didn't wash your hands. The study found other common risky habits when preparing food, including failure to use a meat thermometer to make sure that the food has reached a safe temperature.

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After the researchers reviewed the tapes, they realized that those who watched the video could manage better the meat thermometer when making the turkey burgers, than the others who didn't watch it.

Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap.

The process should happen with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Many of them also didn't wet their hands before lathering up, and didn't dry their hands properly after rinsing. To time yourself, scrub for as long as it takes to hum the song "Happy Birthday" two times.

Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. That included E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to as "staph".

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