Prefer spicy restaurant food over home-made delicacies? Get alarmed as hands of food preparers and chopping boards remain a source of transmission for multi-drug resistant bacteria such as E coli, a study warns.
"The spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria has been associated with the hospital setting, but new findings suggest that transmission of drug-resistant E coli occurs both in hospitals and kitchens," explained Andreas Widmer from University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland.
The findings emphasise the importance of hand hygiene, not only after handling raw poultry, but also after contact with cutting boards used in poultry preparation, he added.
To reach this conclusion, researchers collected and examined 298 cutting boards (154 from University Hospital and 144 from private households) after preparation of various meats - poultry, beef/veal, pork, lamb, game and fish - and before being cleaned.
These samples were tested for the presence of bacteria that includes Salmonella, E coli and Klebsiella.
In testing the cutting boards, researchers found that boards used in households had E coli on 3.5% of these surfaces.
They also found that 50% of the kitchen gloves were contaminated with this drug-resistant E coli.
The meat's country of origin did not play a factor in the presence of bacteria on any of the surfaces, said the study, published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.