Tags: food | poisoning | prevention

Simple Trick Cuts Food Poisoning Risk 99 Percent

By    |   Friday, 01 May 2015 01:05 PM

Using disinfectant wipes in the kitchen after preparing poultry can cut the risk of contracting a common type of food poisoning by more than 99 percent, new research shows.

In findings published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, University of Arizona scientists found using antibacterial wipes on typical counter top materials — granite, laminate, and ceramic tile — greatly reduce the likelihood of cooks, family members, and guests ingesting harmful Campylobacter bacteria.

"The scary thing about Campylobacter is that you really don't need to ingest that many bacteria to get a nasty illness, so we have to wipe clean our kitchen surfaces and wash our hands after preparing poultry," said lead researcher, Gerardo Lopez, M.D.

Dr. Lopez's noted bacteria transfer easily from food to surfaces and hands — and ultimately to the mouth. His experiments used computer analyses to calculate the potential reduction in risk of infection from using disinfectant wipes to be about 99.2 percent. That knocks down the potential rate of infection from two out of 10 people to two out of 1,000.

Campylobacter infections are common, causing vomiting and diarrhea, and can be especially dangerous to young children, older people, and anyone with a compromised immune system. Cooking the chicken thoroughly will destroy the bacteria, but bacterial residues on preparation surfaces can cause illness.

To avoid contamination, experts advise:

• Use wipes after preparing chicken on any surfaces touched by poultry.
• Don’t wash poultry with water under the tap, which can spread the bacteria through splashing and spraying.
• Don’t use the same cloth, sponge, or towel for all purposes and instead use a different disposable wipe or paper towel for each cleanup.
• Throw away grocery bags that once contained chicken to avoid cross contamination. For reuseable bags, use certain ones for raw meat separate and others for fruits, vegetables, and ready-to-eat products, and be sure to wash them regularly.

"We found that it's not just the physical removal of bacteria by the wipe that helps — the antibacterial solution left behind on the counter surface continues to disinfect over the next few minutes,” Dr. Lopez explained.

"It's also important that consumers clean up with a wipe straight after preparing poultry. If drips and splatters from the meat remain, bacteria can transfer to other foods from dirty surfaces and utensils. If the area is allowed to dry, the bacteria can sometimes stick to the work surface making it even harder to get clean, later."

He added that it’s possible that disinfecting surfaces can cut the the risk of other food poisoning illnesses, including those caused by E.coli, Salmonella, and noroviruses.

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Using disinfectant wipes cuts the risk of contracting poultry-related food poisoning by more than 99 percent, new research shows.
food, poisoning, prevention
Friday, 01 May 2015 01:05 PM
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