Research finds variations in home meals prep practices

Researchers have studied the connection between shopper practices, kitchens, and the danger of cross-contamination with pathogens in Europe.

Contributors from 87 households in six European international locations have been noticed and interviewed in 2018 throughout purchasing and preparation of a rooster and vegetable meal. Sampling and analyses of microbial pathogens from their kitchens have been additionally carried out.

The research in France, Hungary, Norway, Portugal, Romania and United Kingdom concerned three shopper teams: pregnant girls or household with a toddler, younger single males, and the aged. In Europe, 40 p.c of foodborne outbreaks happen at house, in line with a 2018 zoonoses report.

In complete, 73 of 761 samples have been constructive for Campylobacter, 13 of 829 for Salmonella, certainly one of 451 for norovirus and none of 91 for hepatitis A. This included uncooked rooster, chopping boards, kitchen surfaces, sink, handles, cloths and sponges. Outcomes have been revealed within the Worldwide Journal of Meals Microbiology.

Campylobacter and Salmonella findings
The very best prevalence of Campylobacter amongst all pattern sorts was in uncooked rooster, with 44 of 77 samples constructive. Prevalence on uncooked rooster various from certainly one of 12, or 8.3 p.c, in Norway to 12 of 15 samples constructive, or 80 p.c, in France and Portugal.

Whereas all members from Norway and all however one from the UK expressed concern about pathogens, no customers from Romania and France did and solely a 3rd from Portugal talked about pathogens in rooster.

Researchers stated there seems to be a hyperlink between dangerous habits and low consciousness about pathogens on rooster, indicating that schooling or communication may change habits and scale back danger.

Campylobacter was discovered on six of 13 merchandise that had been frozen and seemed to be much less prevalent on rooster from supermarkets than different sources.

A complete of 829 samples have been analyzed for Salmonella. It was solely current in seven of 15 uncooked rooster samples from Hungary. In three chickens, Campylobacter and Salmonella have been discovered.

After meals preparation, Campylobacter and Salmonella have been remoted from 23 p.c of chopping boards from Hungary, Romania and the UK and eight.7 p.c in Hungary.

Contamination with Campylobacter to different kitchen surfaces or washing utensils have been present in 5 households. Introduction of Campylobacter to kitchens by rooster was comparatively frequent in most international locations, however unfold to surfaces apart from chopping boards was uncommon. Campylobacter was recovered from wooden, laminate, plastic and stone chopping boards.

Scientists stated buying a foodborne an infection due to cross-contamination from rooster could be very unlikely, most likely due to the comparatively low ranges in meals mixed with meals preferences.

Frequent practices by nation
Utilizing the identical board and knife for greens after making ready rooster and with out washing with detergent was solely frequent in Portugal and Romania.

Rinsing rooster in sinks was frequent in Portugal, Hungary and Romania as was washing greens in the identical sink. Meals security consultants advise in opposition to washing uncooked rooster or meat as a result of microscopic splashes of water can contaminate surfaces.

Extra variations have been discovered between international locations than shopper teams, indicating that practices are shared between generations.

Most individuals ready uncooked rooster earlier than, or concurrently with salad. Making ready salad earlier than rooster may have a risk-reducing impact however this is able to require a significant change in practices, stated researchers.

“Meals security interventions should think about the nationwide meals tradition, preferences, practices and the prevalence and ranges of pathogens in meals. Emphasis must be on offering and selling rooster merchandise with decrease danger and protected use of chopping boards.”

Analysis was funded by the European Fee’s Horizon 2020 initiative. The SafeConsume venture runs till April 2022 and has greater than 30 companions.

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