The simplest, most effective food safety technique is washing our hands. Keeping our hands clean is a crucial line of defence against harmful bacteria and getting in the habit of washing them regularly will pay off for a lifetime. Why is this? Because when we take food home for preparation, we bring it into an environment already contaminated with countless germs of everyday life. We touch dozens of materials and surfaces around the house1 all of which will contain bacteria of one kind or another. Most of these bacteria are harmless - but some of them, if they come into contact with our food, can lead to a nasty case of food poisoning or even serious illness.