5 Dirtiest Items in Your Kitchen
It isn’t just your sponge and bar solution that is crawling with bacteria. A recent article in “Food and Wine” revealed that it may actually be safer to prepare food in your bathroom than in your kitchen!
“People disinfect their toilet seats all the time but they forget to pay attention to the kitchen,” said Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona. Gerba, who’s also known as Dr. Germ, identified the top five dirtiest areas in the kitchen.
SPONGES AND DISHCLOTHS
Topping the list, of course, are sponges and dishcloths. They get wet and moist, a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The most E. coli and other fecal-based bacteria in the average home are on a sponge or cleaning cloth.
Banish those nasty germs by replacing dishcloths every week and throwing the sponge into the dishwasher or microwave it on high for 30 seconds.
It’s where you wash dishes and food but it’s also a great place for E. coli to live and grow. Bacteria feed on the food that people put down the drain and what’s left on dishes in the sink. There is actually more E. coli in a kitchen sink than in a toilet after you flush it.
Get rid of the bacteria by swiping the sink basin with a kitchen disinfectant.
Next to the sink, the kitchen countertop also tend to be the dirtiest because people wipe them down with sponges and cleaning cloths that have E. coli and other bacteria. The sponges and cloths just spread the germs all over the countertops.
Use a disinfectant kitchen cleaner and finish off by drying the countertop with a disposable paper towel. Paper towels are great because they absorb a lot of the moisture and bacteria and you can just throw them away.
There is 200 times more fecal bacteria from raw meat on a cutting board than from a toilet seat. People just rinse their cutting board without disinfecting them.
Avoid getting exposed to salmonella by cleaning your cutting board with a kitchen disinfectant. Also use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.
BOTTOM SHELF OF THE REFRIGERATOR
The bottom shelf of your refrigerator tends to have the most bacteria because moisture and condensation drip down from the upper shelves. People often put produce on a bottom shelf and defrost a meat product above it.
Wipe down the bottom shelf every two or three weeks with a disinfectant cleaner that’s made for the kitchen. To avoid cross-contamination, put raw meat on the bottom shelf and tuck raw produce into a drawer away from everything else.