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BfR warning: TV cooking shows should endanger health


Hygiene is not given sufficient attention in television cooking shows

TV cooking shows have enjoyed great popularity for years. Unfortunately, the programs are not necessarily for health. In a study, US scientists found that such shows make viewers fat. There is another negative side: In TV cooking shows, too little attention is paid to hygiene. The lack of kitchen hygiene could rub off on the viewers.

Pathogens on food

Experts repeatedly point out that more attention should be paid to kitchen hygiene in order to prevent health risks. After all, dangerous bacteria lurk in the kitchen such as Campylobacter and Co. Potential pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or parasites can be found on foods such as eggs, meat or lettuce. And kitchen sponges are also a real spinner. Unfortunately, the health risks from poor kitchen hygiene are often underestimated. And also by TV chefs, as a recent study has shown.

TV chefs make a hygiene mistake every 50 seconds

TV cooking shows are very popular both in Germany and internationally.

At least 60 different cooking programs were broadcast on German television in the period from March 2015 to March 2016, the majority on public channels.

"However, it is worrying that the kitchen hygiene shown in TV cooking programs is often not perfect", writes the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in its new brochure "Kitchen hygiene in the spotlight".

The experts analyzed a total of 100 episodes of various cooking programs and focused on the topic of hygiene. They found that the protagonists make an average hygiene error every 50 seconds.

Wash hands after coughing and sneezing

According to the BfR, mostly moderate mistakes are made. "Specifically, these are hygiene errors that can spread pathogens and cause cross-contamination," the experts report.

The most common kitchen hygiene errors in the analyzed TV shows are:
- Wipe dirty hands on the tea towel.
- No thorough intermediate cleaning of the cutting board.
- Salt or season with your fingers.
- No hand washing after scratching, sneezing, coughing, nasal brushing or contact with scalp hair and eyes.

According to the BfR, poor hygiene on TV can rub off on the viewer: "People who watch cooking videos with perfect kitchen hygiene make fewer hygiene mistakes when cooking again than those who watch faulty cooking videos."

Food hygiene at home is underestimated

"Many people are afraid of chemistry in food, but bacteria, fungi or viruses in food actually make you sick," said BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel in a message.

“Only every fifth person is concerned about food hygiene at home, and the right way to handle food in their own kitchen is the best way to prevent infections. We all need to raise awareness of the health risks involved in preparing food. ”

According to the BfR, more than 100,000 diseases are reported in Germany every year, which are probably due to food-borne infections with microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses or parasites.

This primarily includes infections with Campylobacter bacteria, Salmonella and noroviruses. However, the number of unreported cases is much higher.

In most cases, the diseases are associated with symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea or vomiting and are resolved after a few days.

In people whose immune systems are weakened or not fully developed, however, a food infection can be very difficult and, in extreme cases, even fatal.

Tips for better kitchen hygiene

So that it doesn't get that far, you should:
- avoid contamination of food with pathogens,
- the multiplication of pathogens in food is reduced and
- The survival of pathogens in food is prevented, the BfR writes on its website.

In the current brochure, the experts explain which measures are "important for avoiding food infections":

Wash hands thoroughly with soap before cooking.

In order to avoid cross-contamination, raw food should be prepared on separate work surfaces and the hands, work surfaces and equipment should also be cleaned thoroughly between work steps.

Always cook food thoroughly: at least 70 degrees for two minutes inside the food.

Food that is eaten raw, such as salads, herbs, vegetables, and fruits, should be washed thoroughly to remove germs.

Place or replace kitchen towels, rags and sponges in the laundry regularly. (ad)

Author and source information


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