Using disinfectant wipes in the kitchen can cut the risk food poisoning by a whopping 99.2 percent, says a new research. Dr Gerardo Lopez and his colleagues at the University of Arizona in the USA used antibacterial wipes on typical counter top materials – granite, laminate, and ceramic tile – to see if they reduce the risk of the cook and their family or guests ingesting harmful bacteria.

The results, along with information from other studies that examine the transfer of bacteria from food, to surfaces and hands, and ultimately to the mouth, were fed into a computer to calculate the potential reduction in risk of infection from using disinfectant wipes. The result was a reduction in the annual risk of Campylobacter jejuni infection of up to 99.2 percent, reducing the risk from2:10 to 2:1000.

Dr Lopez said that the scary thing about Campylobacter was that one didn’t need to ingest that many bacteria to get a nasty illness, so it was essential to wipe clean the kitchen surfaces and wash hands after preparing poultry. Campylobacter infections are common, causing vomiting and diarrhoea, and can be very dangerous for young children, older people, and anyone with a compromised immune system.

Dr Lopez explained that they found that it wasn’t just the physical removal of bacteria by the wipe that helps – the antibacterial solution left behind on the counter surface continues to disinfect over the next few minutes. There is every chance that disinfectant wipes would also be effective to reduce the risk of other food poisoning illnesses, including those caused by E.coli, Salmonella, and noroviruses.

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