Hand washing techniques discrepancies give cause for concern
Effective hand hygiene considerations have been very much to the fore during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, a lack of effective hand washing during food preparation is allowing other pathogens to “take advantage of our lack of vigilance” according to a recent report on The Poultry Site which was contributed by INRAE.
Bacteria from the surface of raw meats present many risks. A recent European study showed “clear differences” between participating countries says the report, which highlights the difference in approach between participants in different areas.
“Hand washing seems to be a simple task but, once implemented, shows discrepancies between people. Some people diligently wash their hands for 30 seconds with soap, others simply run their hands under water, or just wipe their hands on a cloth or towel.”
Cross-contamination when preparing food – especially raw meat – with Campylobacter and Salmonella being just two examples, can contaminate hands and anything that they touch, warns the article.
Intentions and practices not matching
An EU Horizon 2020 funded consortium project called SafeConsume by the École Supérieure d’Agricultures d’Angers (ESA) and INRAE, consisted of consumer studies in the UK, France, Norway, Portugal and Romania centring around the preparation of a chicken and salad meal. Although self-reported hand hygiene techniques are said to be “similar”, there was in practice “a gap between intentions and practices.”
A number of examples of poor practice are cited in the article – many did not understand the importance of actually using soap with running water for example – and while some washed before the preparation of a meal, they often didn’t after handling raw chicken.
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