Food Poison From Your Desk?

Food poisoning is high for workers who eat at their desk

(RxWiki News) Work seems to be more demanding every day and there just never seems to be enough time for anything. So how do most Americans handle it? They make more time by eating at their desk.

A large number of Americans do a lot of eating at their office desk - breakfast, lunch and even dinner. While they are saving time at the moment, they might not be saving time in the long run. Researchers found that work areas have more bacteria than toilet seats! Yuck - all that bacteria could cause food poisoning.

"Wash your hands before and after you eat."

The study was conducted by HealthFocus International in April 2011. HealthFocus International surveyed 2,191 men and women who work at a desk. The researchers found that 62 percent of respondents ate lunch at their desk while 50 percent snacked at their desk.

Breakfast and dinner were not left out - 27 percent of the participants said they ate breakfast at their desk and 4 percent had dinner at their work station.

This is extremely hazardous because many of the respondents admitted to not cleaning their work areas very often. Around 36 percent of respondents cleaned their stations once a week, but 64 percent admitted to doing it once a month or even less.

One easy way to prevent food poisoning is to wash your hands before eating. Only half of all Americans actually do that. Keeping a clean desktop and hands are the best defenses a person can have at a work station to avoid foodborne illnesses, Toby Smithson, the American Dietetic Association Spokesperson, says.

Store foods in the refrigerator. Most work places are equipped with refrigerators, but only 67 percent of the respondents actually use it. What's more concerning is that one in every five people don't know when the refrigerator is cleaned or if it's cleaned at all. Refrigerators need to be cleaned and a thermometer kept in the refrigerator can ensure foods are stored safely, Smithson says.

Microwave instructions are crucial to follow because not heating food up to the correct temperature can leave harmful bacteria in the food.

Doing simple things can help prevent bacteria from entering the body, Joan Menke-Schaenzer, the chief global quality officer at ConAgra Foods. Wash your hands before and after preparing foods and follow microwave cooking instructions - this can go a long way, she concludes.

Review Date: 
August 24, 2011