Medical professionals I met while recovering from salmonella say there is a rise in foodborne illnesses in the United States, and the rise is due to misinformation. The misinformation is that hand sanitizers are as good as soap and water for cleaning hands. This is untrue. The worst part is that this untruth has been known for over a decade by the US Food and Drug Administration and other governmental agencies, yet manufacturers of hand sanitizers are still permitted to advertise their claim of killing up to 99.9% of germs. The claim is for surfaces, like counter tops, but not for skin.
I’m not going to go into the whys and wherefores of all this mess, because the point is – before handling food, wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. When moving from meat to vegetables, meat to meat, and vegetables to vegetables, etc. wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. After going to the toilet, taking a smoke break, texting your roommate, changing your child’s diaper, touching anything, and before handling food, wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Now, before you leave the computer to go munch on some olives or dip some crusty bread in extra virgin olive oil from that freshly opened bottle of Arbequina – go wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
May the sun shine through your branches.