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Is Your Kitchen as Clean as a Restaurant's?

Quiz Gives Your Kitchen a Cleanliness Grade
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WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Sept. 2, 2010 -- Just how clean is your kitchen? An online quiz rates your hygiene practices with a letter grade -- and gives you the information you need to keep your food safe from bacteria.

That's according to a CDC report in the Sept. 3 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers studied data from the years 2006-2008 from about 13,000 adults who completed a quiz developed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health called the Food Safety Quiz, included in their Home Kitchen Self-Inspection Program.

The voluntary self-inspection and education program was designed to promote safer food hygiene practices at home.

 The CDC, in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for Sept. 3, 2010, reports that:

  • 34% of people who took the quiz received a rating of A.
  • 27% received a B.
  • 25% received a grade of C.
  • 14% received a numeric score because they scored lower than 70% on the self-assessment, which asked such questions as whether foods were properly stored, preparation areas properly cleaned, and hands washed often.

The quiz is available online at www.lapublichealth.org/phcommon/public/eh/fsquiz/index.cfm.

Learning About Food Safety

The CDC report says the Food Safety Quiz is based on emerging evidence that the use of online, interactive learning tools are conducive to learning and can make it easy to master safe food handling practices.

The 57 questions on the quiz were guided by food safety education principles from the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- namely, that food should be cleaned, separated, cooked, and chilled properly.

Available only in English, it stresses such food handling processes such as sanitizing cutting boards after handling poultry, safe handling of raw eggs, and appropriate methods for handling cooked and uncooked foods.

Improvements Needed on Hygiene Practices

The quiz focuses on food hygiene practices considered to be the most relevant to home kitchens, and focused on cleaning and chilling as two areas that people might overlook when preparing food at home.

People who scored an "A" were mailed a placard in recognition of their good food handling practices.

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