September 18th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
While restaurant dish cloths appear to be the latest catalyst for food poisoning, there’s some good news on the home front: More of us are washing our hands—but we still have a long way to go.
Roughly 77% of us always clean our hands before handling or eating food (83% of women vs. 71% of men), according to a new study sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and the American Cleaning Institute.
Read More:Handwashing Stats Improve, But Some of Us Are Still Pretty Gross…
September 14th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
If you’re like me, you pay close attention to reports of foodborne illnesses, including salmonella, listeria and E. coli outbreaks. You also check your refrigerator and pantry for recalled foods.
But according to a recent survey, American consumers continue to make basic food-safety errors at home. We’re doing either too much or too little, say researchers from Ann Arbor, MI-based NSF International, a nonprofit public health and safety organization.
“Food safety is everyone’s responsibility, and consumers need to put added attention around food-safety practices in the home,” says NSF home safety expert Cheryl Luptowski. “Learning, understanding and changing food-safety behavior through simple everyday practices will make a substantial difference in reducing the incidence of foodborne illness in America.”
Are you guilty of the following behaviors?
Read More:American Consumers Practice Inconsistent Food-Safety Behaviors
July 16th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
If I say “E. coli,” I bet you’ll associate it with contaminated foods—from bagged baby spinach and romaine to steak and ground beef.
Indeed, the most common sources of E. coli infection, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, are:
- Eating undercooked ground beef (with a pink interior)
- Drinking contaminated water
- Drinking unpasteurized (raw) milk
- Working with cattle
But I’d like to bring your attention to a nonfood source of infection: beach sand, on which E. coli can thrive, grow and reproduce. Animals’ (dogs, cats, birds) fecal material is the usual source.
Unwrap your well-packed organic sandwich while soaking up some sun, and you could potentially ingest unwanted microbes. That’s why it’s critical to wash your hands after touching sand.
Read More:E. coli: A Hidden Beach Danger