How to Prevent Foodborne Illnesses

By: Liz Tedone
By: Liz Tedone

Knoxville (WVLT) - The health department is once again reminding everyone that E. Coli is a predominantly food-bourne illness, and it's very easy to contract the disease if you don' t use proper food hygiene.

WVLT Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone has more details.

We all tend to get a little sloppy in the kitchen from time to time. It's very easy to unknowingly cross-contaminate your work surfaces. So we headed out to one kitchen in West Knoxville where they prep food for a living.

"Don't touch anything after working with chicken," said Martina Kitts, owner of A Dinner Afaire.

There are a lot of rules in the kitchen here at A Dinner Afaire. Owners Jackie and Martina do all the prep work so their customers can enjoy cooking.

They have separate cutting boards for different meats. A sink with four compartments, one for pre-rinsing, washing, rinsing again and sanitizing, and you'll notice there are no dish towels lying around because they tend to spread germs. They say it's better to let dishes air dry.

"I have alligator hands. In between doing anything, and if I touch something else, I go in and wash my hands," Kitts said.

And while the mood here is a relaxed cooking environment, when you come to cook here you'll also learn a little about food hygiene. And they don't just preach, the techniques Jackie and Martina have learned owning a food business carry into their own homes.

"It makes you look at how you prepare things differently at home. You want to be safe, and you want to protect your family against cross contamination and getting sick," KItts said.

Again, the three E. Coli cases here in Knox County are linked to a recent beef recall of Cargill hamburgers.

The 18-month-old stricken with E. Coli out of Cocke County, we've learned, is not related and considered a sporadic case by the health department.

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