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Research reveals ‘unexpected’ kitchen dangers that put us at risk for health

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In addition to the bathroom, the favorite habitat for bacteria in the home is the kitchen. Although the kitchen sponge is considered to be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, studies have identified other, more dangerous factors.

According to one study, the most unexpected place in the kitchen for bacteria to spread is in spice containers.

The researchers noted that during the cooking process, multiple condiment containers may come into contact, increasing the risk of contaminant carryover.

A study commissioned by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service found that 48% of samples showed signs of cross-contamination.

The researchers said the spice containers were dirtier than cutlery and the sink.

Study author Donald Schaffner of the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences in New Jersey noted that spice containers have the highest concentrations of microorganisms that contribute to cross-contamination, a process in which microbes are transferred from one substance or object to another. another, often with consequences.

The reason for this, Schaffner explained, is that most people don’t think about cleaning or wiping spice containers after use, in the same way that you clean a cutting board or cutlery.

Professor Schaffner added: “Handling a contaminated spice container and then accidentally putting your finger in your mouth can lead to ingestion of pathogens and subsequent illness.” These diseases are usually manifested by food poisoning.

Anyone can be at risk, experts from the British Food Standards Agency say, but some are at higher risk, such as pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, young children and the elderly.

However, Professor Schaffner says it would be difficult to understand how dangerous this is for our health.

To avoid eating any junk food, Professor Schaffner said you should wash your hands with soap and water after touching raw meat. This is to avoid transferring any pathogens to the spice rack or other items during food preparation, he says.

To identify the dirtiest places in the kitchen, the experts recruited 371 people who tested new recipes. The participants were then asked to prepare a turkey burger.

The researchers included a harmless tracker bacteria called MS2 in the meat, which the participants were not told about.

As soon as the cooks left the kitchen, the researchers wiped down the kitchen surfaces for signs of cross-contamination.

Apart from the spice rack, pens, napkins, sponges and faucet handles are among the most contaminated.

They added that the inside of the sink, soap dispensers and refrigerator lids were some of the dirtiest.

While spice containers can contain pathogens that can cause food poisoning, experts also warn that stoves can release dangerous gases even when they are turned off.

Gas stoves can put families at risk for many deadly diseases, scientists say, as they emit the same particulate matter as cars and trucks.

Dr. Jonathan Levy, professor of environmental health at Boston University in the US, said stoves pollute homes with nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Dr. Levy explained that the gas can cause asthma in children and put adults at risk of developing cancer.

This pollutant is most commonly found on highways. Another study also found so-called “timeless chemicals” lurking in pots, pans, spoons and other household items.

Experts at the University of Southern California (USC) said these chemicals may increase the risk of developing a common liver cancer known as non-viral hepatocellular carcinoma.

In many cases, a person is diagnosed with this cancer due to iron overload syndromes, alcohol and tobacco use, and exposure to pesticides.

The study found that those who were exposed to the toxins had a 4.5 times increased risk of developing the disease.

Source: Sun

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