You Can Catch Foodborne Illness Even Without Eating Contaminated Food

June 26, 2018

© Angelo Ferron | Dreamstime

There has been a lot of recalls of food lately, with E. coli and salmonella being responsible for hundreds of people sickened with food poisoning and a handful losing their lives. Though it may seem surprising, getting a case of food poisoning from a person instead of food can happen and it's more common that you'd think. While the bacteria enters a body through contaminated food, cross contamination usually occurs when the infected person uses the bathroom and does not wash their hands correctly. Those hands touch door knobs, light switches, keyboards, phones and hundreds of surfaces. It's vitally important to thoroughly wash your hands, even when you are not sick, after using the toilet. Additionally, wash your hands after changing a diaper, taking care of someone who is ill, as well as before preparing food, by scrubbing your hands while reciting the alphabet. Although it’s not a terrible idea to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after using the restroom because it can kill some of the germs, according to the CDC—but it won't kill all of them. Sanitizers are good in a pinch, but hand-washing with soap and water remains a better bet. Disinfecting all common surfaces (e.g., kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, and doorknobs) may seem like a pain, but it can go a long way toward isolating an outbreak in your household. Finally, if you have food poisoning (or sick for that matter), stay out of the kitchen and don’t prepare food for other people. If you must use your kitchen, be particularly vigilant about washing your hands and cleaning surfaces you touch.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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