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Study finds spice containers pose contamination risk during food preparation

Study finds spice containers pose contamination risk during food preparation

Study finds spice containers pose contamination risk during food preparation

A new study commissioned by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) shows that consumers may need to rethink how they handle spice containers.

The study found that spice containers can be easily and frequently cross-contaminated with pathogens during food preparation.

A study published in the Journal of Food Protection, “Cross-contamination of consumer kitchen surfaces using MS2 as a tracer organism in turkey patties,” demonstrated the prevalence of cross-contamination on various kitchen surfaces during meals. and tried to determine the extent Ready.

The research was led by Donald Schaffner, Extension Specialist in Food Sciences at the Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station and Professor of Food Sciences at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. His research found that spice containers can easily become cross-contaminated with health-threatening microbes as consumers prepare their meals.

“In addition to more obvious surfaces such as cutting boards, trash can lids, and refrigerator handles, there are other things you need to pay attention to when trying to keep your kitchen clean and sanitary,” says Schaffner. Our research shows that any spice container that you touch while preparing raw meat can become cross-contaminated.

Researchers believe that proper food handling, including proper cooking, consistent hand washing, and sanitizing kitchen surfaces and utensils, can combat cross-contamination.

research method
Researchers monitored 371 adults cooking the same turkey burger recipe in several kitchens of varying sizes, from small apartment-style kitchens to larger educational kitchens, extension centers and food banks. The subject prepared a meal consisting of a recipe for raw ground turkey patties and seasonings, and a prepackaged salad.

To simulate the movement of the pathogen across the kitchen, researchers inoculated the meat beforehand with bacteriophage. Bacteriophages, known as ‘MS2′, are viruses that infect bacteria and do not affect humans, and act as tracers.

Participants were not informed that researchers would investigate food safety behavior until meal preparation was complete. and tested for the presence of MS2 tracers. Based on observations of participants’ behavior during cooking, the researchers decided to sample from several new categories of surfaces, such as spice containers and sink faucet handles.

Investigation result
The researchers found that the most frequently contaminated objects were spice containers, with approximately 48% of the samples showing evidence of MS2 contamination. This contamination prevalence was significantly different from many other surfaces sampled. Cutting boards and trash can lids were the second and her third most contaminated. Faucet handles were the least polluted of the objects studied.

“I was surprised because I had never seen evidence of contamination in spice containers before,” Schaffner said. It focuses on cutting boards and faucet handles, ignoring surfaces such as spice containers, trash can lids, and other kitchen utensils. It will be more comprehensive than research.”

A full study can be found here.

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