Disinfect surfaces to wipe out kitchen bacteria

Photo: Okssi68 | Dreamstime.com

Photo: Okssi68 | Dreamstime.com

A new study suggests that simply washing your hands and wiping the area you’ve used to prepare poultry with disinfectant wipes can greatly limit your chances to falling ill due to bacterial infection.

It was found that individuals who use disinfectant wipes could almost totally cut their risk of Campylobacter food poisoning by up to 99.2%. Campylobacter bacteria cause diarrheal illness. It is the most common kitechen bacteria that cause gastroenteritis and can be especially dangerous to those with weakened immune systems such as babies, older people and those already suffering from illness.

“The scary thing about Campylobacter is that you really do not need to ingest that many bacteria to get a nasty illness, so we have to wipe clean our kitchen surfaces and wash our hands after preparing poultry,” said Gerardo Lopez from the University of Arizona in the US.

Any poultry that is raw could be contaminated with Campylobacter. Cooking the meat thoroughly kills the bacteria but there is still chance of infection if the preparation areas are not cleaned carefully of it.

“We found that it is not just the physical removal of bacteria by the wipe that helps – the antibacterial solution left behind on the counter surface continues to disinfect over the next few minutes,” Lopez said.

Antibacterial wipes were used on different types of countertop materials (granite, laminate, and ceramic tile) in the study to see whether the risk of consuming harmful bacteria was reduced in the person cooking the food as well as their family. The results were fed into a computer to calculate the potential reduction in risk of infection from using disinfectant wipes.

So the next time you’re handling raw poultry, remember that a few precautions can go a long way to avoiding a stomach upset. In addition to not washing poultry under a tap (this leads to splashing that could spread the bacteria), also wipe up the area with disinfectant thoroughly after you prepare it to eliminate as much of it as possible.

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