Contaminated Kitchen Utensils, Knives, Graters and Even Surfaces May Lead to Food Poisoning

Nov 11, 2015 02:00 PM EST | By N. Cagahastian

With all the headlines about food contamination and poisoning, one cannot help but wonder what causes food contamination. Well, you might want to think about how you use your knives and graters. A recent study found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other food items through continued use of knives or graters.

Several consumers are not aware of how utensils and other surfaces at home actually contribute to the spread of bacteria. The recent study by researchers from University of Georgia discovered that these household items lead to cross-contamination and food poisoning.

Lead author Marilyn Erickson, an associate professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has bear researching produce for the past 10 years. Her focus was the fate of bacteria on produce when it is introduced to plants in the field during farming.

She found out in 2013 that the number of contaminated produce items increased by cutting and grating-when the utensil had first been used to prepare a contaminated item.

Moreover, this new study published in Food Microbiology, also focuses on how knives and graters transfer pathogenic bacteria to and from different food items. Erickson suggests that consumers must realize that germs and bacteria do spread in their kitchens. This simple awareness may lessen the probability of food contamination, as consumers are then more likely to make sure they wash them in between uses. Brushes and peelers were also found to transfer dangerous kitchen bacteria.

The Food Standards Agency suggested some tips to reduce the risk of food poisoning at home:

1.       Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands well with soap and warm or hot water. Make sure you dry them before handling food and after handling uncooked foods. Also make sure you clean your hands after blowing your nose, touching the bin, and touching animals.

2.       Wash worktops before and after preparing food with hot, soapy water.

3.       Use separate chopping boards for raw and ready-to-eat food.

4.       Keep raw meat away from fruits, vegetables, salad and bread.

5.       Make it a habit to cover raw meat and store it on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

6.       Cook food well.

7.       Keep fridge below 5 degree Celsius.

8.       Store leftover quickly in the fridge.

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