Following a study into the spread of a bacteria called campylobacter, a potentially dangerous form of food poisoning, health authorities internationally started calling on consumers to stop washing chicken before it is cooked.
According to a release from the Food Standards Authority in Britain washing chicken can spread campylobacter bacteria onto hands, work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment through the splashing of water droplets. Campylobacter infections are the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, affecting an estimated 280,000 people a year.
Around four in five of these cases come from contaminated poultry. The resulting illness can cause abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and vomiting.
In certain cases, it can lead to irritable bowel syndrome, reactive arthritis and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a serious condition of the nervous system. At its worst, it can kill. Those most at risk are children under five and older people.
Dr. Kgosi Letlape, the South African respresentative on the Global Hygiene Council, said that while they haven’t tested food in a recent survey of South African homes, he assumed that the alert was issued in response to an outbreak of food poisoning.
See The Herald tomorrow to find out what the most unhygienic item in your house is. You’ll be surprised!