variants or 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 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

Examples of cross contamination in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The smaller trays are color-coded to prevent cross contamination, and the dishwasher-safe set nests together for compact storage. Phoebe Sklansky, Parents, 7 June 2023 Experts recommend individuals pay close attention to cross contamination of meat products and thoroughly wash surfaces in order to avoid foodborne illnesses. Rebecca Jaspan, Mph, Rd, Cdn, Cdces, Health, 6 Apr. 2023 Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination from thawing juices. Dallas News, 30 Jan. 2023 One worry that often comes with prepping raw meat — especially a big bird like turkey — is cross contamination. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, 23 Nov. 2022 Use one side for your right foot and the other side for your left foot to avoid cross contamination. Garrett Munce, Men's Health, 29 Mar. 2023 There was cross contamination between the rooms. Steve Helling, Peoplemag, 4 Jan. 2023 Symon walked USA TODAY through the step-by-step process to avoid cross contamination. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, 23 Nov. 2022 On a recent game night, the squad stood over a metal table ripping open bag after bag of recycling, compost and landfill waste to ensure no cross contamination before the materials were packaged in bulk and sent off with various private haulers. Ryon Horne, ajc, 6 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cross contamination.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1898, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cross contamination was in 1898

Dictionary Entries Near cross contamination

Cite this Entry

“Cross contamination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

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