Washing Utensils May Be as Important as Washing Hands.
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Boston, MA (PRWEB) December 17, 2012
Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation, and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a new study that indicates that thoroughly washing kitchen knives and graters may be just as important as washing hands in preventing the spread of germs.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-2/washing-utensils-may-be-as-important-as-washing-hands) notes, every year, North America experiences a handful of well-publicized bacterial outbreaks. Most of them are foodborne illnesses. The country’s leading cause of foodborne illness is the norovirus, a pathogen that this health breakthrough says can be just as easily spread by cross-contamination from utensils, particularly knives and graters. Ready-to-eat food and fresh produce are the main types responsible for outbreaks. Viruses are most frequently spread during food preparation.
As the article “Washing Utensils May Be as Important as Washing Hands” reports, while there is little information about what role kitchen utensils play in cross-contamination, this new study from Georgia examined how the hepatitis A virus and norovirus transferred between a range of fruit and vegetables and different kitchen knives or flat steel coarse graters.
According to the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article, researchers found that, when using clean utensils, more than half of all knives and graters became contaminated after preparing the contaminated produce. Any proceeding use of the knife or grater would allow the virus to transfer again. In fact, they noted that a contaminated knife is capable of transferring a virus to up to seven more pieces of food. How much contamination is involved goes back to the type of produce and type of virus.
Offering an example, the articles explains that a smooth honeydew melon transferred more norovirus to knives than the rougher surface of a cantaloupe—but the rougher cantaloupe actually transfers more of the hepatitis A virus.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article concludes that the researchers call this a “significant health risk,” noting that the practice of washing hands well should be extended to the washing of utensils, doing it just as well and just as frequently, to prevent the spread of harmful germs and viruses.
(SOURCE: Wang, Q., et al., “The fate of murin norovirus and Hepatitis A virus during preparation of fresh produce by cutting and grating,” Food and Environmental Virology December 2012; DOI 10.1007/s12560-012-9099-4.)
Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin is a daily e-letter providing natural health news with a focus on natural healing through foods, herbs, and other breakthrough health alternative treatments. For more information on Doctors Health Press, visit http://www.doctorshealthpress.com.
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