The researchers analyzed food-safety practices used on some of the Food Networks' most popular shows: "30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray," "The Essence of Emeril," "Everyday Italian," "Paula's Home Cooking" and "Semi Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee."
The researchers analyzed 49 shows that aired over a two-week period and used 17 coded categories: six positive and 11 negative. Positive categories included hand washing, cleaning equipment, washing fruits and vegetables, adequate refrigeration, use of a thermometer or other positives.
Negative behaviors included: food from unsafe sources, failure to use a thermometer, use of food from the floor, failure to refrigerate perishables, failure to wash fruits or vegetables, inadequately washing equipment, sampling food or licking fingers, cross-contamination of ready-to-eat or raw foods, touching the face and failing to wash hands.
The results weren't exactly savory: 118 positive food-safety measures and 460 poor food handling incidents. Among the most noticeable bad behaviors were: not washing fruits, vegetables and herbs properly, as well as a lack of hand washing in general.
"These are important behaviors because if they're not followed you can become ill," Mindy Brashears said in a statement.