Food viruses can be spread by kitchen knives - scientists

People preparing food are advised to wash their hands to prevent the spread of disease, yet an unseen threat may well lie on their kitchen knife, a new study says.

Researchers at the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia used new knives and graters on six types of fruit and vegetables that had been smeared with minute doses of hepatitis A virus and a "vomiting" bug called norovirus.

More than half of the utensils became contaminated by this contact -- and in turn often handed on virus to non-contaminated produce.

The experiment was conducted on cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots and cantaloupe and honeydew melons.

The type of knife, whether serrated, sharp or dull, did not matter, according to the paper, published in the latest issue of the journal Food and Environmental Virology.

Co-author Marilyn Erickson told AFP the findings could be important for people with a weak immune system.

As for recommending what to do, she acknowledged that it could be impractical to wash a knife or grater between each vegetable.

However, "it would be wise to wash (the utensil) carefully between meals rather than leaving it on the counter, thinking it's not that dirty," using a dishwasher or at dishwater-type temperature, she said.

Previous research into contamination of kitchen utensils and surfaces has focussed on bacteria, not viruses.

A 2011 study found that the norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illnesses in the United States. Ingesting as few as between one and 100 norovirus particles can cause vomiting or diarrhoea.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Most Popular

  • Yuck, Your Toothbrush is a Fecal-Matter Magnet and the Truth Behind 4 Other Common Germ Myths

    Yuck, Your Toothbrush is a Fecal-Matter Magnet and the Truth Behind 4 Other Common Germ Myths

    Healthy Living - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 9:32 PM PHT
    Yuck, Your Toothbrush is a Fecal-Matter Magnet and the Truth Behind 4 Other Common Germ Myths

    You Can Catch STDs From a Toilet Seat Unless you're having sex on said toilet seat, there's no need to worry about catching a disease on one. Bacterial and viral STDs begin to die the second they leave your body, and upon hitting a cold, hard toilet seat, they promptly kick the bucket. The only STDs that could theoretically be passed from toilet seat to body are parasitic ones (think: lice and crabs). …

  • Why You Should Be Using Rose-Hip Seed Oil on Your Face (Like Miranda Kerr!)

    Why You Should Be Using Rose-Hip Seed Oil on Your Face (Like Miranda Kerr!)

    Healthy Living - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 6:07 AM PHT
    Why You Should Be Using Rose-Hip Seed Oil on Your Face (Like Miranda Kerr!)

    A few months ago Miranda Kerr announced that she uses rose-hip seed oil on her skin every night before bed. …

  • 4 Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster

    4 Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster

    Healthy Living - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 1:00 AM PHT
    4 Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster

    Tossing and turning when all you want is to snooze? Here's how to shut off your mind fast. …

  • 8 Things to Do Before You Start a Weight Loss Program

    8 Things to Do Before You Start a Weight Loss Program

    Healthy Living - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 1:53 AM PHT
    8 Things to Do Before You Start a Weight Loss Program

    Like most things in life, before you start a weight loss program you need to prepare. I know there are a lot of you out there who probably had "lose weight" as one of your New Year's resolutions, whether you wrote it down or just said it to yourself in your head doesn't matter, it was still something you wanted to do. But more than half of you have either not gotten out of the starting gate yet or did, but didn't make it past the first lap. Don't worry, you aren't alone. Losing weight has been …

  • 2014 Holy Week mall schedule

    2014 Holy Week mall schedule

    Yahoo Southeast Asia SHE - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 12:19 PM PHT
    2014 Holy Week mall schedule

    Before you head for the mall or the grocery during the Holy Week, consult this guide. …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options
POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options