Study Why Spice Jars Can Be Dangerous
The results of the study show that the bacteria that make us sick can be transferred to spice jars. Find out how scientists figured it out and what solutions we have!
In the study referenced by Best Life, scientists wanted to find out which surfaces in the kitchen could carry bacteria from contaminated food.
To find out what kitchen items can make us sick, the researchers cooked turkey burgers that contained (harmless) surrogate norovirus bacteria (that is, a contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea).
After the dishes were ready, the scientists took samples from various surfaces - countertops, dishes, kitchen appliances and household appliances. Most surfaces tested positive, but jars of spices are the most contaminated. They were followed by shredders and bin lids. At the opposite pole was the handle of the refrigerator, as well as the inside of the sink.
The seasoning jars had the highest concentration of bacteria because the professionals didn't wash their hands before seasoning the meat, and of course the containers weren't pre-sanitized, which can also happen regularly.
According to another study cited by Best Life, rags, dish sponges, kitchen sinks, and coffee machine tanks are surfaces that can often harbor bacteria.
What are the solutions?
If the results of the study gave you food for thought, don't panic! Fortunately, there is no need to give up your favorite spices. Frequent hand washing is necessary to protect the body from bacteria, as well as to disinfect jars of spices.
"When you're done slicing the meat, you should wash your hands before touching this jar," says Benjamin Chapman, who is also the study's lead author. Chapman also recommends wiping down the jars with soap and using a kitchen disinfectant spray after using spices.
The study was published in the Journal of Food Protection in September 2022.