Keeping your kitchen clean is very important to your family's health, as it decreases the risk of infection. Recently, however, it has been found that washing meats and vegetables, and keeping a clean countertop may not be enough to stave off harmful bacteria.

ScienceDaily.com featured a new study by researcher Qing Wang and her colleagues from the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, USA, which reveals that cooking implements like knives and graters can increase the spread of foodborne bacteria. This is especially alarming for people who work in restaurants and in food-service industries.

To check how serious the contamination would be, researchers used the viruses Norovirus and Hepatitis A to contaminate two groups: in the first group, bacteria were used on produce. The other group had the knives and graters contaminated.

Results showed that cross-contamination occurred in both groups, but that the contaminated utensils group appeared to spread the contamination to up to seven other pieces of produce.

The study stresses the importance of maintaining cleanliness even while food is being prepared, since not all food we consume needs to be cooked. Proper training and knowledge can help food workers and consumers alike be more aware of their role in spreading contamination.

(Photo by misterbenben via Flickr Creative Commons)

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