Fiona Tomarchio


Does your hand washing technique pass this test?

Does your hand washing technique pass this test?

A new study carried out by food safety inspectors from the US Department of Agriculture has unveiled some startling evidence in regard to people’s hand washing techniques – or lack of.

Rounding up close to 400 participants, they were all required to prepare a faux meal – including washing their hands beforehand – at a test kitchen in North Carolina, as part of the research.

Shockingly, the group only washed their hands approximately one third of the time they should have, in order to prevent and the reduce the risk of cross-contamination while handling food.

This included not washing their hands before they started prepping for the meal, or after they had handled raw meat.

However, when the participants did wash their hands, over 97 per cent of them did not meet the standard outlined by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study revealed that very few of the people involved in the research rubbed their hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds – the suggested amount of time to remove germs and grime – and nearly half of the participants didn’t wet their hands first with water, before washing with soap.

Furthermore, many of the subjects also did not dry their hands with a clean towel, resulting in bacteria spreading to other food and surfaces in the test kitchen – in real life, this could result in food poisoning.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says our hands are more or less germ superhighways, meaning our hand washing technique is imperative to keep disease at bay.

So, what is the correct way to wash your hands? Here is WHO’s guide:

2 Hand Washing