Research – Is Using Your Smartphone or Tablet in the Kitchen a Food Safety Hazard?


Do you use your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to look at recipes while you’re cooking? Did it ever occur to you that you could be exposing your food – and yourself — to the bacteria that those personal electronic devices may harbor?

In a recent analysis of findings from the 2016 Food Safety Survey and related focus groups, scientists at FDA who study consumer food safety behavior explored this idea by evaluating how frequently consumers use these devices in the kitchen and how exactly they are using them. The next step is to determine if there is any danger of contamination from using these devices while preparing food.

Amy Lando, MPP, and Michael Bazaco, Ph.D., in the Office of Analytics and Outreach at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), explain what they’ve learned, what they’re trying to find out, and what consumers can do to protect themselves.

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