February 22, 2024

Opening jar of cinnamon while baking

Photograph: sashafolly (Shutterstock)

Getting ready uncooked meat all the time takes me a very long time, significantly as a result of I’m washing my palms continually. Maybe to a paranoid diploma. I pat the meat down with a paper towel, then I am going wash my palms. I season one aspect, flip it over, and wash my palms once more. I season the opposite aspect, place it within the pan, and wash my palms a 3rd time. I all the time activate the tap with my elbows and chorus from touching knives or spice containers till my palms are clear. Earlier than my dinner is even completed cooking, I’ve already burned off all of its energy by operating backwards and forwards from the sink. And apparently, I’m the one of many solely individuals who does this.

A brand new research printed within the Journal of Meals Safety noticed members as they ready a easy meal of turkey burgers and salad. The burgers had been injected with a pathogen referred to as MS2, and the researchers then examined the kitchen to see how and the place the pathogen unfold. The members had been unaware that their meals security practices had been being monitored, main them to behave like their standard gross selves within the kitchen—and likewise resulting in cross-contamination.

Meals security dangers aren’t all the time what we predict

Essentially the most contaminated kitchen merchandise was not what researchers had been anticipating: Almost half of the spice containers held traces of MS2.

“We had been shocked as a result of we had not seen proof of spice container contamination earlier than,” one of many researchers instructed Meals Security Information. “Most analysis on the cross-contamination of kitchen surfaces on account of dealing with of uncooked meat or poultry merchandise has centered on kitchen reducing boards or faucet handles and has uncared for surfaces like spice containers, trash bin lids and different kitchen utensils.”

Apparently, faucet handles confirmed the bottom ranges of MS2. So I assume individuals had been both utilizing their elbows to activate the water, or a lot of the pathogen had already landed on the spice containers, leaving little left on the members’ palms to land on the handles.

How one can keep away from cross-contamination whereas cooking

The ethical of the story: Wipe down your spice containers. (And wash your palms. Come on. You’ve been listening to it noncease for 3 years now and also you’re nonetheless not doing it?) Even for those who’re good about not reaching for the paprika instantly after dealing with uncooked meat, you and your co-inhabitants are all the time touching these jars, and different micro organism might be getting transmitted. Wiping down all of your kitchen surfaces repeatedly is a good suggestion, no matter whether or not you’ve just lately ready meals on them. As one meals security professional instructed Shopper Studies, “Micro organism comparable to salmonella and campylobacter can survive on laborious surfaces for a number of hours.”

Now, for those who’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go clear my entire kitchen. Together with the knife block.