I have bad news for all you germaphobes out there. Unfortunately, no matter how hygienic you try be, your kitchen has way more germs in it than you expect.
Dr Charles Gerba, who is a microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona in Tucso, made the following scary statement:
“In most cases, it’s safer to make a salad on a toilet seat than it is to make one on a cutting board.” He went on to say: “People disinfect their toilet seats all the time, but they don’t realize that they really need to pay attention in the kitchen too.”
So, where are all the germs hiding in your kitchen?
How do you store leftovers? How do you store raw poultry and meet? Does this food come into contact with other foods in the fridge? According to research, most homeowners don’t actually know how to refrigerate foods correctly.
The bottom shelf of the fridge carries the most bacteria; this is because it is the moistest area in the fridge – normally due to condensation dripping down from top shelves. What you should not do is defrost your meat at the top of your fridge so that all the moisture that escapes from the meat drips onto other foods.
Make sure you clean the bottom shelf of your fridge often to prevent cross-contamination.
Dishcloths and sponges
According to a survey done on 1 000 sponges and dishcloths in kitchens, a whopping 10 percent of them contained the bacteria salmonella, mainly because the moist environment of the sponge is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Even faecal-based bacteria were found on dishcloths and sponges.
You should always replace dishcloths and sponges, at least every week. Putting them in the microwave for 30 seconds also kills germs.
Usually dirtiest near the sink, kitchen counters are often wiped down with dirty cloths and sponges. Wipe down your kitchen surfaces with a disinfectant kitchen cleaner and always dry the surfaces with a disposable paper town so that all moisture and bacteria on the surfaces can be soaked up and thrown away. See non-porous kitchen countertops.
Your sink is, unfortunately, crawling with bacteria like E.coli. According to research, 80% if kitchen sinks that were tested failed a cleanliness test.
Apparently, there is more E. coli in a kitchen sink than in a flushed toilet, mostly because of the moist and wet environment the sink creates.
Vinegar and lemon juice can also clean a lot of bacteria; however, the stronger pathogens will prevail. Clean your kitchen sink with a strong kitchen disinfectant.
Cutting boards, especially ones with chips and cracks, contain a lot of bacteria. This is probably because most people rinse their cutting boards casually as well as use the same unwashed cutting board for different foods, allowing a greater threat of cross contamination.
You should use a separate cutting board for meats and a separate on for vegetables to prevent cross-contamination. Also, opt for plastic boards as opposed to wooden boards because plastic is less porous.