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 However, the potential for cross contamination of raw and cooked food as well as the survival of pathogens from inadequate processing is high when products are made with raw milk. Juan Silva, Discover Magazine, 21 June 2024 Properly handling eggs—including avoiding cross contamination of any raw products with other foods—and cooking them at least until the yolks and whites are firm will further reduce any risk of infection. Alice Park, TIME, 5 Apr. 2024 When rinsing chicken, bacteria such as salmonella can be transferred via the water to your kitchen surfaces, leading to potential cross contamination of other ingredients. Casey Barber, CNN, 13 Feb. 2024 This presents a significant risk of cross contamination, especially when there are heavy rains and floods. Jeffrey Moyo, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for cross contamination 

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cross%20contamination. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!