Domestic kitchen microbiological contamination and self-reported food hygiene practices of older adult consumers
Evans, Ellen W.
International Association for Food Protection
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Due to increased susceptibility, older adults have an increased risk of foodborne infection and data suggest elevated incidence, therefore, food hygiene is essential to reduce the risk. Research suggests older adults’ inadequate knowledge and negative attitudes towards food hygiene, may increase implementation of unsafe food practices. Data on microbiological contamination of domestic kitchens of older adults are lacking. Therefore, this study aimed to determine microbiological contamination of older-adults’ domestic kitchens. Food contact surfaces/equipment (n=1292) in older-adults (≥60years) domestic kitchens (n=100) were analyzed to isolate aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria spp.; self-reported hygiene practices were also recorded. Highest contamination levels were determined on in-use cleaning equipment (dish brushes/dishcloth/sponges) with aerobic bacteria <9.3 log CFU/item, Enterobacteriaceae <8.8 log CFU/item and S. aureus <7.0 log CFU/item. Reported usage-length of dish brushes was significantly correlated (p<0.05) with Enterobacteriaceae contamination. Significant correlations (p<0.05) were determined between contamination and reported cleaning frequency of refrigerators. Contamination of hand towels in single-occupant households was significantly greater (p<0.05) than multi-occupant households. The study facilitates novel comparison between reported hygiene practices with microbial contamination, suggesting older-adults fail to implement adequate and regular hygiene practices that may increase the possibility of cross-contamination in the domestic kitchen and the associated risk of foodborne illness. Data from this study has determined a need for older-adults to improve food-hygiene practices in the domestic kitchen.
Journal of Food Protection;
Evans, E.W. and Redmond, E.C. (2019) 'Domestic kitchen microbiological contamination and self-reported food hygiene practices of older adult consumers', Journal of Food Protection, 82(8), pp.1326-1335.
Article published in Journal of Food Protection available at https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-18-533
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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