Kitchen Hygiene: Clean Your Spice Jars Periodically Cooking & Eating

Cooking & EatingIt said many cases of food poisoning develop at home RIVM. You might think that most bacteria in the kitchen can be found on the kitchen towel, trash can, or cutting board. A new study It turns out that spice jars are even bigger bacteria magnets.

A late 2022 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) — the federal agency that is the U.S. representative of FASFC — makes it clear that we’re routinely getting food poisoning in our own kitchens. Protection of the food chain.

For that study, 371 people were asked to prepare turkey vada in their kitchen. They had to serve a fresh, pre-packaged salad with that meal. Task: Season everything adequately and use the spice jars to add basil, pepper and salt.

Unknown to test subjects: Turkey vaccinated. It is the scientific term for the adhesion of bacteria and fungi to food. They did this with MS2, a harmless microbe that leaves traces on cutting boards, knives, kitchen counters and spice jars. “It is a harmless tracer that is regularly added to food,” explains Dominique VanDijk, deputy director of the Flemish Poison Center. “Once the food is prepared, you can figure it out.”

Are spice jars the main culprit in the kitchen?

The researchers examined all surfaces that the test subjects came in contact with. Tracer was already found to be 10 to 20 percent busy on the counter, cutting board, sink, and knives. But even more remarkable: 48 percent of the spice jars used during cooking contained a tracer of bacteria and fungi.

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That led to a new conclusion from this new study: Raw pieces of meat or chicken you leave on cutting boards may cause contamination, not as often thought. Something completely different is happening: it’s spice jars.

“However, it is an exaggeration to say that they are the main culprit of infections or contamination in the kitchen,” says Dominique VanDijk. “It is unrealistic to have to wash those jars with soaps, detergents and disinfectants every time. We should not create fear of contamination. Some chemicals are not safe to use, but there are some facts about them.

How to avoid contamination from spice jars?

The professor emphasizes the importance of cooling techniques to avoid food poisoning caused by bacteria and fungi in spice jars – among others. “The way you store food in the kitchen makes all the difference. The most important message is that you should pay attention to hygiene in the kitchen. Food poisoning or foodborne illness is often caused by improperly stored food or nutritional components. The rules are simple: not too much time in the heat, but in a cool room or in the refrigerator. And at the right temperature.


Quotation

If you constantly reuse jars while cooking, bacteria can stick to your hands and jars

Of course, contact or contamination could actually occur between the tracer — full of bacteria and fungi — and those spice jars. Is there a solution other than proper food storage? “Wash your hands, especially when cooking,” says Vandijck. “Because you’re using those jars more than once, that’s really important. You’ll always have some leftover meat or fish on your hands that you often can’t see with the naked eye. If you keep reusing the jars while cooking, the bacteria will stick to the hands and the jars.”

This is also shown experimentally. To give flavor to a dish, you use herbs. While preparing each food, we hold it with our hands. Busy with cutting, baking and roasting, people often forget that pots of herbs are not the cleanest objects in the kitchen. Things you don’t think about are that you use them so often that they get dirty. So, apart from your kitchen utensils, wash your hands while preparing your food and handling the jars.

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