An exploration of a sample of kitchens in Philadelphia by a research team at Drexel finds that most have serious food safety violations that could affect the health of those who cook and eat there. How does yours compare?
The study: the researchers visited 100 homes with a visual checklist that inspectors use for health inspections for restaurants.
What they found:
- In 97% of the homes, raw meat was stored improperly. In some cases, juice from the raw meet was dripping down on ready-to-eat food.
- In 43% of the homes, raw meet was stored at an improperly high temperature, allowing bacteria to flourish.
- Traces of pests were found in 65% of the kitchens.
- Fecal coliform bacteria was present in 44% of the kitchens.
- E. coli was found in 15% of the kitchens.
- At least one foodborne pathogen was discovered in 45% of the kitchens, and 12 percent had more than one type. Listeria was found in 15%.
The key problem areas were sinks, sponges, dishcloths and refrigerators set to a too-high temperature.
- Check the temperature setting for the fridge.
- Microwave your sponges for one minute each day.
- Disinfect the sink.
- Wash hands before handling food.
Common sense would be nice, too!
It’s hard to complain about healthcare costs when we’re making ourselves sick!
Disclosure: My son attended Drexel University; I’ve very impressed with that school.
- Patricia A. Borrusso, Jennifer J. Quinlan. Prevalence of Pathogens and Indicator Organisms in Home Kitchens and Correlation with Unsafe Food Handling Practices and Conditions. Journal of Food Protection, 2017; 80 (4): 590 DOI: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-16-354
Drexel University. “Most home kitchens in Philadelphia study would earn severe code violations: Bacteria-laden sponges and poor raw meat storage main culprits.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170509132844.htm>.