Why you Should Never use Your Phone in the Kitchen
“92 percent of smartphones are contaminated with microorganisms, and one in every six contains feces.”
This may appear insignificant to others, but it is a warning flag for potential cross-contamination to anyone who is knowledgeable about food safety and foodborne illness.
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According to a recent study, 92 percent of smartphones are contaminated with bacteria, and one out of every six has feces.
In the United States, 65 percent of foodborne illness outbreaks are caused by infected workers touching food.
The bulk of these outbreaks occur in food service facilities such as restaurants and catered events, with contact with bare hands and failure to adequately wash hands being the most common reasons.
For food safety, hand washing vs. hand sanitizing
As a result, this got me thinking. In the food service industry, how effective is hand sanitizer against foodborne germs compared to hand cleaning with soap and water?
To put it another way, would it have made sense for the food worker to sanitize fast, or should you always wash your hands in a food environment?
Foodborne infections are among the most frequent human diseases worldwide, caused by consuming contaminated foods and beverages.
The smartphone, in particular, poses a problem because one out of every six may contain E. coli strains. Norovirus, Salmonella, and E. coli are the top three foodborne pathogens in the world.
“Hand washing is the gold standard when it comes to removing dirt and transitory organisms from hands.”
Despite the fact that hand washing is the “gold standard” for removing dirt and transitory organisms from hands, hand sanitizing products have become more popular in the food service industry in recent years.
Hand sanitizers are convenient and proved to be efficient in situations such as healthcare, but their use as a substitute for hand washing in food contexts has long been a point of contention.
“The type of soils present, as well as the organisms of public health concern, distinguish food handling from patient handling,” says Barry Michaels, an infectious disease expert with 40 years of expertise.
When hands are clearly unclean, hand sanitizers are not suggested, especially when it comes to eliminating food particles and fat from contaminated hands.
Furthermore, many alcohol-based hand sanitizers are ineffective against bacterial spores and non-enveloped viruses like norovirus, the most common foodborne disease.
Michaels continues, “Current CDC healthcare hand hygiene guidelines are applicable, just as they are in the instance of mobile phone hand contamination and many others found in food handling contexts.
The key is to understand that when there are no visible or actual dirt on hands, they can be cleansed properly with alcohol-based hand sanitizers.”
Effective hand washing is critical for preventing bacteria from spreading to food when it comes to lowering foodborne illness.
Although alcohol hand sanitizers should not be used as a substitute for hand washing in food situations, when used in conjunction with hand washing as part of a hand hygiene program, they have been shown to boost bacterial inactivation.
Hopefully you have learnt Why you Should Never use Your Phone in the Kitchen
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