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. 



Health and Fitness