Friday, October 28, 2016

Are Cookbooks a Food Safety Biohazard in the Kitchen?

 Okay, because someone asked....are cookbooks a biohazard in kitchen?  Some food safety guy in the UK, who works for a firm that recovers costs if you get sick on vacation, stated that cookbooks are a food safety biohazard in the kitchen.  I was not able to find any scientific support to back this claim, but I guess, if your hands are nasty as you finger through the cookbook, you can potentially transfer pathogens to your cook book.  But is it a high risk...probably not.  Just clean your hands after handling raw meats before you go rifling through your cookbook.  And don't put your cookbook in a an area where it can get raw meat droplets on it.

In general, bigger risks occur through cross contamination from contaminated food contact surfaces to prepared foods or from undercooking.  Hopefully, people follow directions in the cookbook, and those directions presented in that cookbook are based upon sound scientific principles.

 The Sun (UK)
Cook books ‘should be BANNED from the kitchen for carrying food-poisoning bacteria

Bacteria clinging to the pages of cookbooks could cause crippling bouts of sickness, leading food scientists have warned
26th October 2016, 1:56 pm     
COOKBOOKS should be banned from the kitchen with leading food scientists warning potentially fatal bacteria could be clinging to the pages.

In a stern warning to keen bakers and amateur chefs hoping to pour over recipe books for their next meal, UK illness expert Richard Conroy has said cookbooks could cause crippling bouts of food poisoning.

Keen chefs should be wary of the bacteria on their favourite cookbooks

He said Brits were underestimating the harmful bacteria that could be in their kitchen – and on the pages of their favourite recipe.

He said: “We’ve all got them at home – rows of cookbooks in the kitchen that sit there, gathering bacteria, until we dig them out and start preparing a meal. They are a bio-hazard waiting to happen.

“In extreme cases, infection could even prove fatal.

“And when you splash the pages of a cookbook with the food you’re cooking – as many of us have – you’re only adding to the problem.

“The opportunity of cross contamination when flicking through a recipe book is tremendous.”

The founder of the holiday illness compensation firm advised keen cooks to instead print a recipe and to throw it out after use.

He said: “If you’ve just handled raw chicken, then picked up your recipe book, you’ve potentially then cross-contaminated the pages with campylobacter – a common pathogenic bacteria found in chicken.

“The next time you pick up your recipe book, by handling it you can cross contaminate the then-cooked foods.”

Conroy said: “We often take our smartphones and tablets into the kitchen without running an antibacterial wipe over them first.

“Just think how many of us also sit and read our gadgets while we’re in the toilet?

“Bathrooms are notorious for norovirus or E. coli, extremely nasty bugs responsible for several deaths in the UK each year.”

He said cooks should wash their hands regularly in hot, soapy water, while also disinfecting surfaces.

His warnings come after a recent study released by the Which? watchdog, which warned iPad screens could be covered in bacteria.

The UK Food Standards Agency said there are more than 500,000 cases of food poisoning a year from known pathogens, and this figure would more than double if it included food poisoning cases from unknown pathogens.

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