From Our 2010 Archives
Is Your Kitchen as Clean as a Restaurant's?
Quiz Gives Your Kitchen a Cleanliness Grade
Reviewed By Laura J. Martin, MD
Sept. 2, 2010 -- Just how clean is your kitchen? An online quiz rates your hygiene practices with a letter grade -- and gives you the information you need to keep your food safe from bacteria.
That's according to a CDC report in the Sept. 3 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Researchers studied data from the years 2006-2008 from about 13,000 adults who completed a quiz developed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health called the Food Safety Quiz, included in their Home Kitchen Self-Inspection Program.
The voluntary self-inspection and education program was designed to promote safer food hygiene practices at home.
The CDC, in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for Sept. 3, 2010, reports that:
The quiz is available online at www.lapublichealth.org/phcommon/public/eh/fsquiz/index.cfm.
Learning About Food Safety
The CDC report says the Food Safety Quiz is based on emerging evidence that the use of online, interactive learning tools are conducive to learning and can make it easy to master safe food handling practices.
The 57 questions on the quiz were guided by food safety education principles from the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- namely, that food should be cleaned, separated, cooked, and chilled properly.
Available only in English, it stresses such food handling processes such as sanitizing cutting boards after handling poultry, safe handling of raw eggs, and appropriate methods for handling cooked and uncooked foods.
Improvements Needed on Hygiene Practices
The quiz focuses on food hygiene practices considered to be the most relevant to home kitchens, and focused on cleaning and chilling as two areas that people might overlook when preparing food at home.
People who scored an "A" were mailed a placard in recognition of their good food handling practices.
According to the CDC report:
Citing statistics from Los Angeles, the report says that:
CDC researchers write that home-kitchen-related food-borne diseases are underreported, and that improper practices occur often in home settings. Food-borne diseases caused 2,590 hospitalizations and 17 deaths in Los Angeles County during the 1999-2007 period, numbers that are considered underestimates, according to the report.
SOURCES: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Sept. 3, 2010; vol 59: pp 1098-1101.