They must have slept through food-safety class
November 29, 1997
Web posted at: 9:31 p.m. EST (0231 GMT)
ATLANTA (CNN) -- College-aged men are having a tough time in the kitchen.
A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that men between the ages of 18 and 29 violate food safety practices more than any other group.
And the Food and Drug Administration found men in that same age group are more likely to report suffering a food-borne illness.
The most common illness they experience is campylobacter, an infectious disease that causes unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhea, cramping abdominal pain and fever. The ailment can last up to a week and can lead to death.
CNN visited kitchens of off-campus college-aged men and saw many examples of unsanitary conditions.
Michael Doyle has a Ph.D. in food microbiology at the University of Georgia. He looked at video footage of these examples and discussed the conditions in them.
Chicken is a big bacteria threat in the kitchen
He said not washing hands -- and then touching and cooking food -- is a big problem. Bacteria can grow and produce toxins that cause illness.
Doyle said that the greatest bacteria threat is chicken, especially undercooked chicken. Even one drop of juice from raw chicken can infect a person.
Other problems include improper thawing of frozen meat and poultry.
"The best way to thaw is in the microwave or under running water or in the refrigerator overnight.
"This will prevent harmful bacteria that may be present in uncooked poultry from growing," Doyle said.
Dried poultry and meat juices in refrigerators is another problem.
"Even in the dried state this harmful bacteria would survive," he said. "And any food that should contact that -- or if they should wipe their hands over that dried area -- they could come in contact with these harmful bacteria."
Medical Correspondent Rhonda Rowland contributed to this report.