In commercial situations, of course the answer to this question should be a resounding NO! But what does the latest research say about the topic?
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey has recently published the results of research into this question.
They dropped watermelon, bread (buttered and unbuttered) and gummy sweets from a height of 11cms onto four different surfaces that had been disinfected and then inoculated with enterobacter aerogenes and allowed to dry.
The surfaces were stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet. Contact time ranged from less than one second to a full five minutes.
The highest transfer rates came from stainless steel and tile, the lowest from carpet. Transfer rates from wood were variable.
However, for the last word – lets hear from Dr Roy Kulik, head of the division of infectious diseases at Cornell Medical School, who warns that eating dropped food poses a risk of gastrointestinal disease, and advocates a “zero second rule” when it comes to this practice.
Are your staff always compliant? AIBI has great face-to-face and online courses which encompass all the latest research for Food Safety Supervisors.
Call Anne for more information, (0431 96 95 95) or to book your kitchen supervisor in for training before the Xmas rush!