In a recent study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture, officials were baffled to see that in 97% of the time, people don’t wash their hands properly, an issue that can lead to spread of many illnesses.
According to the CDC standards for acceptable handwashing, people in the study didn’t wash their hands properly. If you were wondering on what’s proper handwashing, there’s a full guide from the CDC at the end of this article.
The study included 363 people in six kitchen test facilities in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina and Smithfield, North Carolina. Almost every person in the kitchen failed to reach the standard set by the CDC, which is not good news if you plan on eating at a restaurant.
Not only did the participants washing their hands the wrong way, but the USDA found that many of them didn’t dry their hands after washing them.
In the meantime, USDA tested and saw that half the time, the participants spread bacteria to spice containers as they prepared burgers, only because they didn’t wash their hands. In 11% of the time, participants spread bacteria to the handles of the fridges.
Carmen Rottenberg is the acting deputy undersecretary for food safety at the USDA, stating that:
“By simply washing your hands properly, you can protect your family and prevent that bacteria from contaminating your food and key areas in your kitchen.”
What is shocking about this study is that 97% of the participants in the study didn’t properly wash their hands. In 2013, a similar study conducted by Michigan State University found that 5% of the people in the study washed their hands correctly, which was a better result than the one found more recently.
The CDC Guide for Properly Washing Your Hands
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere