Make Sure All You Are Spreading Is Holiday Cheer

New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve (Photo credit: besighyawn)

Tonight is one of the biggest party nights of the entire year, and if you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve bash, be sure foodborne illness won’t be on your menu. Everyone is pretty much aware that not washing your hands when you handle meats, etc., has the potential to spread viruses; however, a recent study has shown that knives and graters that are used in different preparations without being washed first can also spread them.

Researchers from the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia evaluated how noroviruses and hepatitis A virus were transferred between cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes, cantaloupes, carrots, honeydew melons and graters and knives. They also investigated how much virus was transferred to the produce while the knives and graters were being used, if the presence or absence of food residue had any impact on the amount transferred, and whether sharp, dull, or serrated knife surfaces were a factor.

Here’s what they found:

  • The transfer of noroviruses from contaminated produce to knives was the greatest for cucumbers, strawberries, and tomatoes, and the least for honeydew melons.
  • The transfer of hepatitis A virus from contaminated produce to knives was greater for tomatoes and honeydew melons than strawberries, cantaloupes, and cucumbers.
  • After a knife became contaminated and reused, viruses were discovered on almost all of the next seven produce items that were chopped with it.
  • Produce residues on knives and graters caused less virus transfer as compared to knives and graters without residue accumulation.
  • Whether the knife was sharp, dull or serrated did not affect virus transfer.
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~ by chasm63 on December 31, 2012.

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