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Screens in the kitchen

Do you use your phone when cooking? Do you wash your hands? Here's why it’s important to wash your hands when cooking while using a smart device.

Smart phones and tablets can be extremely helpful cooking companions. However our research has found that there are food safety risks when using them when cooking as food poisoning bacteria can live on surfaces for more than 24 hours.

Say you’re following a chicken casserole recipe on your phone - how many times do you touch the screen, to check ingredients, or start and stop a video? About 6 times according to our research. You can read the research here.

The study watched people using smart devices in the ktichen. It found that people often don’t wash their hands between handling raw ingredients and touching their devices. Nearly 33% of the home cooks didn’t wash their hands after touching raw chicken and around 75% after handling eggs.

That’s how harmful bacteria can spread. Bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli can live on smart devices for more than 24 hours.

So here are a few tips to keep you and your smart device clean and safe in the kitchen:

Wash your hands before and after cooking

Clean hands are important to help stop cross-contamination between your smart device and ingredients when cooking. Before and between handling ingredients and your smart device, wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap, drying with a clean hand towel. Don’t touch your phone after handling raw food.

Keep your worktops clean

If you put your phone on an unclean kitchen worktop you run the risk of picking up harmful bacteria. So always wash kitchen worktops with hot soapy water before and after preparing food. Cleaning as you go will help reduce cross-contamination and keep your workspace clear. 

Disinfect your device before and after cooking

It's important to disinfect your smart device after cooking if you have handled raw ingredients such as meat, poultry, or eggs. Always follow your manufacturer's instructions before doing so. Using anti-bacterial wipes (containing at least 70% alcohol) can significantly reduce the contamination on smart device surfaces. When disinfecting, pay close attention to the screen, buttons, and edges. 

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