You’re probably washing your hands wrong, according to USDA

A study revealed that many people do not wash their hands long enough

Middletown School nurse Cheryl Greenfield talks about the importance of washing your hands and demonstrates proper handwashing technique.

Washing your hands is a must, but you could be doing it wrong, according to a new report.

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Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), RTI International and North Carolina State University recently conducted an experiment to explore how dangerous bacteria is spread across kitchens.

To do so, they examined 383 people while they used test kitchens in North Carolina. The participants were observed on camera as they cooked dishes, including turkey burgers and salads.

After analyzing the results, they found that 97 percent of the subjects washed their hands improperly, leaving only 3 percent who got it right.

“You can’t see, smell or feel bacteria,” said Carmen Rottenberg, acting deputy under secretary for food safety at the USDA. “By simply washing your hands properly, you can protect your family and prevent that bacteria from contaminating your food and key areas in your kitchen.”

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Most of the people in the group did not wash their hands long enough or dry them with clean towels, the authors wrote. The researchers advise people to clean their hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Many of the participants also failed to keep items in their kitchen free from contamination. Several contaminated their spice containers while preparing burgers about 48 percent of the time, and they spread contamination to refrigerator handles 11 percent of the time, the team revealed.

Want to learn more about the findings? Take a look at the full report here.

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