Germs from unwashed hands pose huge risk for caterers warns food scientist

A street food caterer washing hands with a Handeman Xtra mobile unit

“Wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds”

Cutting down the spread of bacteria as much as possible when cooking is essential, with the “expert-recommended way” to scrub your hands being “to wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds”, according to a recent report on the New York Post website

The article by Brooke Kato, centres on advice from a professor emeritus of food science at Cornell University. Dr. Robert Gravani is quoted regarding the importance of effective hand washing – that must also be carried out at important times.

“The expert-recommended way to scrub your hands is to wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds — and don’t forget to wash them again after handling raw meat.”

Beware the spice containers…

It is (hopefully) well known that hands should be washed after a toilet break and after handling raw meat. But there are other ways that germs from unwashed hands can be spread during the cooking process.

“When you’re preparing raw foods or meat, oftentimes you’re going to reach for the container of spices and sprinkle it on.” This in turn can cause the spice containers themselves to cause cross-contamination, he warns.

Ironically, the one thing that you shouldn’t be washing is poultry. Whereas rinsing off vegetables and fruit is advisable, the washing of raw meat is not, on the grounds that the water spray could actually be responsible for spreading bacteria around the kitchen.

“Hand washing is the cardinal rule of cooking — yet people forget to follow it.”

Dr Gravani is also quoted in a recent update on the website where he expressed concern that “…a lot of people forget to wash their hands, which carry all kinds of germs that can contaminate otherwise safe food.”

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Food supplier washing hands with a Hygienius mobile sink
Food supplier washing hands with a Hygienius mobile sink

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