You’re Probably Washing Your Hands All Wrong, Gov’t Study Says

A study conducted recently by the US Department of Agriculture found that consumers don’t wash their hands correctly 97 percent of the time

A study conducted recently by the US Department of Agriculture found that consumers don’t wash their hands correctly 97 percent of the time

If you're preparing food, chances are that you're not properly washing your hands.

Hand-washing seems pretty simple, but a recent study shows that 97 percent of the time, we're still doing it wrong - which can lead to contamination of food and surfaces and result in foodborne illness. And, perhaps most crucially, you need to wash your hands properly.

The study, involving 363 people, examined six test kitchen facilities in the metro Raleigh-Durham area and rural Smithfield, North Carolina.

The new FSIS report is based on a study it recently completed in partnership with RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, and North Carolina State University.

A few years back, we discovered that only 38% of Irish men are taking the time to wash their hands after they use the restroom - a problem which is facilitating the spread of germs and viruses.

According to the USDA, the 383 individuals were divided into two groups. The study found other common risky habits when preparing food, including failure to use a meat thermometer to make sure that the food has reached a safe temperature. However, the second one did not have any guidance.

The researchers observed that people who had watched the video were significantly more likely than the control group to use a meat thermometer properly while making their turkey burgers.

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Women performed slightly better on this test, with 60% of them washing their hands - which is better, but still not exactly a great turnout.

When participants did wash their hands, almost 1 out of 4 did not use soap. Only 1 percent of the other group, those who had no instructions at all, did the same. The experts also realized that the participants only considered washing their hands after touching something that was contaminated - such as raw meat - three times of the instances.

It is not just a matter of technique but also knowing when to wash your hands.

Image credit: Getty " You can't see, smell or feel bacteria", said the acting deputy undersecretary for food safety at the USDA, Carmen Rottenberg.

After wetting the hands, close the water and softly apply soap to them.

Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Many of them also didn't wet their hands before lathering up, and didn't dry their hands properly after rinsing.

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. A proper wash of visibly dirty hands takes about as long as singing "Happy Birthday" twice. Then, put your hands under the clean water to remove the soap.

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