Updated 02 July 2018

Almost everyone failed to wash their hands properly before preparing food in this study

It’s something we do so often every day that we don’t give it much thought.

It’s something we do so often every day that we don’t give it much thought.

Well, maybe we should. A new study has found nearly 100% of the participants don’t know how to wash their hands properly, especially when preparing food.

According to Science Alert, the US Department of Agriculture found 97% of the 383 people it tested don’t practise proper hand hygiene.

Participants in the study, which was done in North Carolina, America, were assigned to six specially-designed test kitchens where they had to prepare turkey burgers and salads while being monitored closely.

READ: Is handwashing the cheapest vaccine ever?

After recording the cooking and cleaning sessions scientists found only 3% of the volunteers followed the correct hand-washing steps, as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study also found half the participants spread bacteria from raw meat to spice containers due to poor hand-hygiene habits, The Metro reports. Bacteria was also spread to refrigerator handles 11% of the time.

According to the Global Hygiene Council, washing your hands six times a day is considered the basic hygiene minimum.

So what’s the correct way to wash your hands?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you wet your hands before lathering it with soap. This includes the back of the hands, in between the fingers, under the nails and the palms.

Wash the hands for 20 seconds, then rinse and dry them with a clean towel.

Seems straightforward and easy, right? Which begs the question, why are so few of us getting it right?