FNS  Vol.6 No.15 , November 2015
Bacterial Transfer from Hands While Eating Popcorn
Abstract: Popcorn is a very social food, often shared with others and offered at many major sporting events, concerts, movies, and fairs. However, sharing may not be safe since microorganisms found on hands may be transferred onto the shared popcorn. This study was conducted to determine if bacteria are transferred from hands to popcorn during handling. Over 30 samplings revealed that bacterial transfer to popcorn from hands was very low; however transfer did occur with large variation between subjects. Since hands and surfaces can carry bacteria in situations where food is being shared, transferring bacteria from one person to another person is always a risk.
Cite this paper: Baker, K. , Han, I. , Bailey, J. , Johnson, L. , Jones, E. , Knight, A. , MacNaughton, M. , Marvin, P. , Nolan, K. , Martinez-Dawson, R. and Dawson, P. (2015) Bacterial Transfer from Hands While Eating Popcorn. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 6, 1333-1338. doi: 10.4236/fns.2015.615139.

[1]   Gustaitis, J. (2001) The Explosive History of Popcorn: From Maize to Microwaves, America’s Best-Loved Snack Food Has Long Been a Favorite Treat. American History, 32-36.

[2]   Anaya, I., Aguirrezabal, A., Ventura, M., Comellas, L. and Agut, M. (2008) Survivability of Salmonella Cells in Popcorn after Microwave Oven and Conventional Cooking. Microbiological Research, 163, 73-79.

[3]   Gao, Z., Tseng, C.H., Pei, Z.H. and Blaser, M.J. (2007) Molecular Analysis of Human Forearm Superficial Skin Bacterial Biota. Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, 104, 2927-2932.

[4]   Grice, E., Kong, H.H., Renaud, G., Young, A.C., NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Bouffard, G.G., Blakesley, R.W., Wofsberg, T.G., Turner, M.L. and Segre, J.A. (2008) A Diversity Profile of the Human Skin Microbiota. Genome Research, 18, 1043-1050.

[5]   Fierer, N., Hamady, M., Lauber, C.L. and Knight, R. (2008) The Influence of Sex, Handedness, and Washing on the Diversity of Hand Surface Bacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 105, 17994-17999.

[6]   Jumaa, P.A. (2005) Hand Hygiene: Simple and Complex. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 9, 3-14.

[7]   Judah, G., Donachie, P., Cobb, E., Schmidt, W., Holland, M. and Curtis, V. (2010) Dirty Hands: Bacteria of Faecal Origin on Commuters’ Hands. Epidemiology and Infection, 138, 409-414.

[8]   Reynolds, K.A., Watt, P.A., Boone, S.A. and Gerba, C.P. (2005) Occurrence of Bacteria and Biochemical Markers on Public Surfaces. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 15, 225-243.

[9]   Jiang, X.J., Morgan, P. and Doyle, M. (2002) Fate of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Manure-Amended Soil. Applied Environmental Microbiology, 68, 2605-2609.

[10]   SAS (2014) Statistical Analysis System. The SAS Institute, Cary, NC.

[11]   Dawson, P.L., Han, I., Cox, C. and Simmons, L. (2007) Residence Time and Food Contact Time Effects on Transfer of Salmonella Typhimurium from Tile, Wood and Carpet: Testing the Five-Second Rule. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 107, 945-953.

[12]   Barker, J. and Bloomfield, S.F. (2000) Survival of Salmonella in Bathrooms and Toilets in Domestic Homes Following Salmonellosis. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 89, 137-144.

[13]   Scott, E. and Bloomfield S.F. (1990) The Survival and Transfer of Microbial Contamination via Cloths, Hands and Utensils. Journal of Applied Bacteriology, 68, 271-278.

[14]   Chiller, K., Selkin, B.A. and Murakawa, G.J. (2001) Skin Microflora and Bacterial Infections of the Skin. Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings, 6, 170-174.

[15]   Pittet, D., Allegranzi, B., Sax, H., Dharan, S., Pessoa, C.L., Donaldson, L. and Boyce, J.M. (2006) Evidence-Based Model for Hand Transmission during Patient Care and the Role of Improved Practices. Lancet Infectious Diseases, 6, 641-652.

[16]   Boyce, J.M. and Pittet, D. (2001) Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings. Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA Hand Hygiene Task Force. CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 51, 1-45.

[17]   Larson, E. (2001) Hygiene of the Skin: When Is Clean Too Clean? Emerging Infectious Diseases, 7, 225-339.

[18]   Kolenbrander, P.E., Andersen, R.N., Blehert, D.S., Egland, P.G., Foster, J.S. and Palmer, R.J. (2002) Communication among Oral Bacteria. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, 66, 486-505.

[19]   CDC, Centers of Disease Control. 2014.

[20]   Harrel, S. and Molinari, J. (2004) Aerosols and Splatter in Dentistry: A Brief Review of the Literature and Infection Control Implications. Journal of American Dentist Association, 135, 429-437.

[21]   Sumi, Y., Miura, H., Michiwaki, Y., Nagaosa, S. and Nagaya, M. (2006) Colonization of Dental Plaque by Respiratory Pathogens in Dependent Elderly. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 44, 119-124.

[22]   Trevino, J., Ballieu, B., Yost, R., Danna, S., Harris, G., Dejonckheere, J., Dimitroff, D., Philips, M., Han, I., Moore, C. and Dawson, P. (2009) Effect of Biting before Dipping (Double-Dipping) Chips on the Bacterial Population of the Dipping Solution. Journal of Food Safety, 29, 37-48.