Studys Shows Most People Don't Know How To Wash Their Hands

Most people don't wash their hands properly when preparing food

As a result, we're putting ourselves and our families and guests at risk of contracting potentially serious food-borne illness, such as salmonella, norovirus and E. coli, the report warns.

"The basic safety practice you can employ in your kitchen, which is washing your hands, is not something our participants did", said Carmen Rottenberg, a top food safety official at the USDA.

The study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that most people failed to wash their hands and rub with soap for 20 seconds.

So, what's the right way to wash your hands? However, after the experts gathered the 383 participants, the results showed that barely 3 percent of them succeeded when doing it.

The researchers of the study examined over 300 people and placed them in test kitchens that were based in North Carolina. The study was performed by the FSIS, in partnership with experts from RTI International and North Carolina State University.

The same study observed people's use of a food thermometer, which is recommended for cooking meat and poultry products. The participants were asked to prepare and cook turkey burgers and a chef's salad.

As for meat thermometer use, people in the group who watched the video were twice as likely to use a thermometer and to insert it in the correct location of the patty (from the side, in case you're wondering). For more information about when and how to wash your hands, go to the CDC's website.

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What is shocking about this study is that 97% of the participants in the study didn't properly wash their hands. Only 1 percent of the other group, those who had no instructions at all, did the same.

Insufficient hand washing, especially after handling raw meat, can lead to the spread of germs that can cause foodborne illnesses. "By simply washing your hands properly, you can protect your family and prevent that bacteria from contaminating your food and key areas in your kitchen".

The CDC has some instruction on how to properly wash hands that you can use before and after eating.

Then rinse your hands and dry them on a clean towel.

Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

And Luis Delgadillo with the USDA said drying your hands, versus just shaking them off, is a step that shouldn't be ignored. Many of them also didn't wet their hands before lathering up, and didn't dry their hands properly after rinsing.

Continue with this process for at least 20 seconds.

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