cross contamination

noun \ ˈkrȯs-kən-ˌta-mə-ˈnā-shən \
variants: or cross-contamination
Updated on: 20 Apr 2018

Definition of cross contamination

: inadvertent transfer of bacteria or other contaminants from one surface, substance, etc., to another especially because of unsanitary handling procedures
  • With raw eggs, as with raw chickens, it is important to avoid cross contamination. Use separate utensils—bowls, forks, knives, counter tops, and cutting boards—for raw chickens or eggs, and clean them thoroughly before reusing them for cooked foods.
  • —Phyllis C. Richman
  • Jim Steinhoff, a sanitarian and food inspector for the La Crosse County Health Department, said cross-contamination is the cause of the recent nationwide salmonella outbreak with peanut butter products.
  • —Terry Rindfleisch

cross-contaminate

play \ˈkrȯs-kən-ˈta-mə-ˌnāt\ transitive verb cross-contaminated; cross-contaminating
    • "ARB [=antibiotic-resistant bacteria] are carried into the kitchen on contaminated meat and poultry, where other foods are cross-contaminated because of common unsafe handling practices."
    • —Jerome Groopman
    • There's an ongoing debate about whether wood or plastic is more bacteria-resistant. But more important than the material of your cutting board is how you clean it. Don't cross-contaminate it by using an old sponge or less-than-pristine dishtowel.
    • Natural Health

Recent Examples of cross contamination from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cross contamination.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cross contamination

1898

in the meaning defined above

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