April 5, 2013 : Common Bacterias in Your Kitchen

Common Bacterias in Your Kitchen

Cleaning your kitchen thoroughly is a very difficult task to do. Germs and bacteria can go undetected to the naked eye,  and therefore can lurk in your kitchen without you even knowing. Among these bacteria’s that can be found on surfaces and appliances in kitchens are E. Coli, salmonella and listeria monoctyogenes, which are all also major causes of foodborne illness. 

So how prevalent are these germs?

CBS news recently reported on a study done by a nonprofit science organization, NSF International,  that had 20 volunteer families  swab 14 common kitchen items:  the blender, can opener, flatware storage tray, food storage containers with rubber seals, knife block, microwave keypad, pizza cutter, spatula, strainer and the refrigerator ice dispenser, water dispenser and meat and vegetable compartments.  Among these 14 common kitchen items they tested for four types of microorganisms: E. Coli, salmonella, yeast and mold, and listeria and found the following results:

25% of items tested contained E. coli bacteria.

25% of items tested contained salmonella.

100% of the items tested contained yeast and mold. 

10% of the items tested contained listeria.

Among these items, which ones where the “germiest”?

The report concluded that the six “germiest” items found in the kitchen were the refrigerator vegetable and meat compartments, blender gasket, can opener, rubber spatula and rubber-sealed food storage container. 

So, how do I kill these germs?

As already mentioned, germs and bacteria go undetected to the naked eye and therefore it is difficult to know whether something is clean or not. Therefore, the best thing to do is just assume that there are germs on your appliances and make sure that you clean the appliances before every use even if they appear clean.  Below is a list of a some ways to kill these germs: 

Dishwasher: Use a dishwasher for certian items like the pizza cutter, spatula, and food storage containers with rubber seals to ensure that the all of the germs are getting killed. Water has to be around 110 degrees Fahrenheit to kill germs, and therefore hand washing  these items will not sufficiently kill the germs. 

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Many people don’t realize that in order to clean an appliance properly, you need to disassemble the entire appliance. For instance, in order to kill all of the germs in a blender you need to remove the gasket and the rubber seal in order to thoroughly clean the blender. 

Disinfecting Wipes:  For items like the flatware storage tray, microwave keypad, and refrigerator meat and vegetable drawers, use disinfecting wipes regularly on them to kill the germs.  Begin by cleaning the surfaces off with water and soap (this will not kill the germs, but will just clean off any loose debris). Then, thoroughly disinfect them with disinfecting wipes like Sani-Cloth disenfecting wipes. Let them completely dry before putting the flatware, vegetable, or meat back into the storage units. 

Want to know what are other items in your house are covered in germs? Here is a list of the germiest places in your house. 

April 24, 2012 : 5 Ways to Stop the Norovirus from Ruining your Vacation

5 Ways to Stop the Norovirus from Ruining your Vacation

What do the BNP Parabis Open, a school in Omaha, 2 hospitals in England and a slew of Fort Wayne, Indiana Mexican restaurants have in common? Not much at first glance, but upon further inspection you can see that all of these institutions have fallen victim to the norovirus in the last 4-6 weeks.

The norovirus is a virus that is commonly identified with symptoms similar to the stomach flu such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. As well, the CDC estimates it is responsible for about half of food poisoning cases in the United States every year. This virus is highly contagious, especially in communities such as hospitals, schools, college campuses, and cruise ships. 

So how could the norovirus ruin your vacation?  Just one individual contracting it on a trip could mean the whole family will eventually be coming down with it, which means a vacation filled with the infected nursing each other back to health, and we all know how painful it can be to be ill while away from home. While many cruise liners are starting to take a proactive approach to this problem, it may be too little too late this season.

Here are five ways you can be sure to evade the norovirus this year and keep your family safe during your next vacation.

1. Always wash your hands. Most infections of any kind can be prevented with proper hand washing. If soap is unavailable consider using a Sanitizing Wipe or NoroCloth wipe. Parents should be especially cautious and prepared in carrying disinfecting wipes of some kind since children’s hands are notorious vessels for viruses and germs alike.

2. Wash fruits and vegetables.  More times than not, a person infected with the norovirus does not immediately know that they are carrying the virus, this can lead to the persons transmitting the virus through every day activities, including grocery shopping and food handling. Make sure you wash your fruits and vegetables, or that they have been properly washed, before consuming them.

3. Disinfect your residence. While the norovirus only lasts for 24-72 hours, the infected can contaminate a fair amount of surfaces during this time. Prevent the illness from recurring by disinfecting commonly touched areas such as bathrooms, doorknobs, telephones, remote controls, tables, etc. If you can not immediately wash a surface, make sure to have plenty of NoroCloth wipes on hand to eliminate infected areas as quickly as possible.

4. Wash Bedding and Clothing immediately. This virus can be airborne which means that that contaminated sheets and bedding can hamper the infected individual’s recovery process. Make sure that linens and clothing are changed immediately after use and not thrown into a hamper where the virus can take time to fester.

5. Stay home if Infected. The symptoms of the norovirus vary from person to person, but if you are experiencing any combination of the symptoms listed above make sure that you stay in your room if on vacation, or at home if not, until you are better. This may not be fun, especially if you are on vacation; however, in the long run it is best for everyone.



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