Hand-washing and thermometer usage are key to reducing foodborne illness. And new research from Kansas State University suggests that encouraging these behaviors may be as easy as including them in recipe instructions.
While most people know you should wash your hands, temperature monitoring is less common. The researchers note that using a meat thermometer to check doneness is particularly important because LED and energy-efficient lights, which are popular in kitchens, make meat appear more done than it is.
Here’s what the study found:
- 40-50% people wash their hands when cooking. With written reminders, 70-80% will wash up.
- 25% of people use a meat thermometer when cooking at home. That number jumps to 85% when the instructions include a reminder.
Every year, 1 in 6 Americans contracts a foodborne illness. Something as simple as incorporating food safety into recipe instructions could go a long way toward reducing that number.