Kitchen Confidential: What are the Top 5 Germiest Kitchen Items?
The Kitchen can be the germiest place in your house
The kitchen is the heart of the home, but did you know that it's also one of the most germ-infested areas in the house? Even if you're a clean freak, there are certain items in your kitchen that are notorious for harboring bacteria and germs. Let's take a look at the top five most contaminated items in a kitchen.
Sponges and Dishcloths
Kitchen sponges and dishcloths are used to clean up spills, wipe down countertops, and wash dishes. But they are also a breeding ground for bacteria. In fact, studies have shown that sponges can contain more bacteria than a toilet seat! To keep your sponges and dishcloths clean, rinse them thoroughly after use and replace them often. Alternatively, you can sanitize them by soaking them in hot water and bleach.
Another option is to use pre-treated antimicrobial kitchen sponges and dishcloths. These products are easy to fin in the market, however, care should be taken to avoid the use of products that incorporate harmful leaching chemicals, such as silver ions. There are other options such as the NoStench® Sponge and microfiber cloths by Everest Microbial Defense®.
Cutting boards are another item in the kitchen that can harbor bacteria, especially if they are not cleaned properly. Raw meat, poultry, and fish can leave behind harmful bacteria that can cause food borne illness. To keep your cutting board clean, use separate cutting boards for raw meat and other foods, and clean them thoroughly with hot, soapy water after each use. You can also sanitize your cutting board by using a mixture of water and vinegar.
The handles on your refrigerator are one of the most frequently touched items in your kitchen. Unfortunately, they are also one of the most contaminated. Foodborne illness can be easily spread by touching contaminated surfaces, such as refrigerator handles. To keep your refrigerator handles clean, wipe them down regularly with a disinfectant cleaner.
Your kitchen sink is another area that can harbor harmful bacteria. Food particles and other debris can accumulate in the drain and on the sides of the sink, providing the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. To keep your sink clean, use hot, soapy water to clean the sink and the drain. You can also sanitize your sink by using a solution of water and bleach.
Spice containers are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning, but they can also be a source of contamination. Spices can become contaminated with bacteria and other harmful microorganisms, especially if they are stored improperly or used past their expiration date. To keep your spice containers clean, make sure they are stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. It's also a good idea to replace your spices every six months to ensure freshness.
To make matters worse, we typically handle these containers while we are in the midst of preparing our food and that many times means that we have not taken proper precautions to ensure that our hands are free from bacteria and germs from raw ingredients that we have been handling.
By taking the time to clean and sanitize these items on a regular basis, you can reduce the risk of food borne illness and keep your kitchen a safe and healthy place for you and your family.