Food Safety Summit Features Handwashing Olympics

FLORHAM PARK, NJ-More than 1,300 food safety professionals attended a conference in Washington, DC last week to share ideas about keeping the public safe from disease.

There were more than 150 companies involved in the trade show that showcased new technologies that can detect E.coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and other microbes. Participants also learned new methods of cleaning, sanitizing, and pasteurizing.

However one of the most interesting events on the show floor was the Kimberly-Clark Handwashing Olympics. The first international handwashing competition involved dozens of food safety professionals washing their hands to see how well they could remove a does of artificial germs. After they had washed, contestants had their hands inspected under UV light and judges scored their performance. The gold medal was given to Michelle Samariya-Timm, a graduate student in public health at Montclair State University in New Jersey. She scored a germ-free 100.