As Chipotle and health officials in Washington and Oregon struggle to identify the roots of the outbreaks that sickened over 30 people, several food and health experts are urging consumers to remember that another bacteria may be in your kitchen, and it could spread very easily. Salmonella, one of the most common organisms linked to food poisoning outbreaks can spread when you use simple kitchen utensils.
To avoid health risks, the University of Georgia’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences decided to take a closer look. The group’s study helped researchers to develop a series of steps that would help consumers to stay safe.
One of recommendations made by researchers includes always washing utensils, especially knives, peelers, and graters before using them to prepare other types pf food such as produce or fruit.
Cross-contamination is a serious risk. To know about it and how to avoid it could keep Salmonella off your kitchen.
If only one tomato has been contaminated, it could wind up contaminating other tomatoes. According to the research, tomatoes tend to be linked to higher contamination risks. But strawberries are not as risky. While researchers don’t understand why, it’s important that consumers wash the knives after cutting one single product and before they move on to cutting or chopping the next.
Once the pathogen gets on the food, it’s difficult to remove it.
According to a 2014 story into common cutting boards shows that they are also likely to transmit bacteria. About 3.5 percent of the boards tested by researchers in Switzerland carried E. coli, while 6.5 percent of the cutting boards used in hospitals that were tested were contaminated.
Unlike a series of other organisms, E. coli can expose consumers to infection even if a small amount of the product is contaminated. Some of the most common carriers of E. coli include fresh produce, ground beef, and unpasteurized milk.
Vegetable such as spinach and lettuce are highly vulnerable to contamination, but tomatoes are still the riskier when it comes to cross-contamination.
When it comes to Salmonella, kitchen utensils appear to be the culprits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that more than one million people fall ill because of Salmonella infections each year in the country. At least 380 of these cases end up being fatal.
Since the Salmonella bacteria can survive in your kitchen, everything should be washed before products come in contact with utensils or even your hands.
When prepping food, wash your hands and nails with warm, soapy water beforehand. If you ignore this step, Salmonella and other types of organisms present on the outside of the product may spread to the inside.
For more tips, watch the video below or follow this link.