Are Spice Jars The Most Contaminated Thing In Your Kitchen?

Preparing raw meat can take a long time, if you’re one of those people who stops to wash your hands at every step along the way. While this is the best way to prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen, it seems not everyone is doing it. And we’re spreading pathogens in the kitchen in a surprising way as a result, new research shows.

For a new study, researchers observed participants as they prepared a meal of turkey burgers and salad. But the participants didn’t know they were being watched, so they acted like their usual gross selves in the kitchen, cross-contaminating while they cooked. They also didn’t know that researchers injected a pathogen called MS2 into the turkey meat to see how and where the pathogen spread.

When the kitchen was examined, the most contaminated item wasn’t what study authors were expecting - nearly half of the spice containers had traces of MS2. “We were surprised because we had not seen evidence of spice container contamination before,” one said. “Most research on the cross-contamination of kitchen surfaces due to handling of raw meat or poultry products has focused on kitchen cutting boards or faucet handles and has neglected surfaces like spice containers, trash bin lids and other kitchen utensils.” Surprisingly, in this study, the faucet handles showed the lowest levels of MS2. But this is a solid reminder to wash your hands frequently while cooking and to wipe down your spice containers, too.

Source: The Takeout

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