Fast Company

Mealtime Multitasking

Do you watch TV or talk on the phone while making meals? Do you check email or clean the fridge while waiting for water to boil? Do you wash dishes while keeping an eye on your kids when the steak is being cooked?

If the answer is yes, you are multitasking -- natch. Americans are taking on multiple tasks not just in the office, but in the kitchen, finds a survey by the American Dietetic Association and the ConAgra Foods Foundation. The survey shows nine of 10 Americans say they multitask while preparing meals, and that 62% say they are too busy to even sit down to eat.

The survey also finds many Americans have lunch -- or even breakfast -- at their desks or when driving. What's at stake, experts say, is food safety. Many people don't wash hands between tasks, making it easy for bacteria to transmit to food. Dietitians recommend that people wash hands before, during, and after preparing meals.

While there's the added workplace danger of getting crumbs in your keyboard -- or worse, spilling a drink! -- I'd be more concerned about how dirty your desk is. It's important to take the occasional break, and while there are different ways to make the midday meal productive, it all comes down to the need to step away once in awhile.

With that, I'm off to lunch!

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