Washing hands and using disinfectant wipes in the kitchen after preparing poultry can almost eliminate the risk of food poisoning caused by harmful bacteria, a study says.
Consumers can reduce the risk of Campylobacter food poisoning by up to 99.2 percent by using disinfectant wipes in the kitchen, the findings showed.
“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.
Raw poultry bought from the supermarket may be contaminated with Campylobacter.
Even though cooking the meat thoroughly, until the juices run clear, will destroy the bacteria, there is still a chance that bacteria left behind in the preparation area could cause illness.
Campylobacter infections are common, causing vomiting and diarrhoea, and can be very dangerous for young children, older people, and anyone with a compromised immune system.
While refraining from washing poultry under the tap, can help prevent spread of the bacteria through splashing and spraying, this new research suggests that cleaning up with a disinfectant wipe straight after unwrapping and/or preparing poultry meat could further protect people from infection.
“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 explained.
The researchers in the study which appeared in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, used antibacterial wipes on typical counter top materials – granite, laminate, and ceramic tile – to see if they reduce the risk of the cook and their family or guests ingesting harmful bacteria.
The results were fed into a computer to calculate the potential reduction in risk of infection from using disinfectant wipes. The result was a reduction in the annual risk of Campylobacter jejuni infection of up to 99.2 percent.