Making the Safest Choice

Where Are the Germs in Your Kitchen?

On by Sue Grossbauer, RD

Your kitchen may look clean, but are hidden bacteria lurking? The unfortunate truth is that the little microbes that make you sick are invisible to the human eye. The average kitchen is full of germs, according to extensive household research.

Microbiologists rank the “10 germiest places in your kitchen”.  Are you sitting down? Here’s the list:

  1. Kitchen Sponge/Dish Rag
  2. Kitchen Sink
  3. Toothbrush Holder
  4. Pet Bowl
  5. Coffee Reservoir
  6. Faucet Handles
  7. Pet Toys
  8. Countertops
  9. Stove Knobs
  10. Cutting Boards

Food safety: cutting boards and toilet seats face off

More about #2, your sink: Microbiology expert Charles Gerba, PhD of the University of Arizona, was quoted by saying, “You’d be better off eating a carrot stick that fell in your toilet than one that fell in your sink.” He has also said that cutting boards you use for raw meat have 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. (Consumer Reports, March 2012).


Raw eggs make trouble, too

Research from England reveals that the simple act of cracking a fresh egg can spread Salmonella bacteria across your counter. They land as far as 16 inches away, and persist for up to 24 hours. This is one of the invisible dangers of using raw eggs that aren’t pasteurized to eliminate the Salmonella risk. Many people say if you just cook the eggs – no Salmonella worries. Oops! Not true. Unless you’re cooking your counter, too.

Food safety tips for your kitchen

If you’re concerned about invisible germs, the good news is you can take charge. Choose pasteurized eggs so you aren’t spreading Salmonella around. And, advises NSF, an international standards organization, you can:

  • Replace dish rags every 1-2 days
  • Disinfect your sink regularly
  • Wash kitchen strainers in the dishwasher weekly
  • Clean your coffee maker following manufacturers’ instructions
  • Wash and disinfect your counters every day
  • Wash your stove knobs every week.

A lot of work? Perhaps. What’s food safety worth to you?

6 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe that this website needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice!|

  2. Brighteyes says:

    I also, wipe down all kitchen knobs, electrical switches, handles on fridge, stove, microwave, coffeemaker, about anything someone would touch. Wipe down toilet handle…door handles, faucets…the list goes on!!!!

  3. Carolyn Tice says:

    I have found that Tylex is my best buddy in the kitchen and bathrooms. For the kitchen, I wipe down before and after meal preparation. For the bathrooms, at least once a day. I probably overdo it, but better safe than sorry!

  4. Jersey Girl says:

    People have often called me a germ-a-phobe…they just don’t get it…I use a utility sink for floor mopping, dog bowl washing and all other yucky stuff. This is also disinfected regularly.

  5. Nick Chou says:

    Really important blog.
    In fact,For food safety if it is not washed the bathroom to use the plan as inadequate and unhealthy. It causes the diseases.
    I have discovered that will Tylex is actually my personal greatest pal inside kitchen area and also bath rooms. For your kitchen area, I remove down previous to and also immediately after supper planning. For your bath rooms, one or more times a day. I probably overdo that, yet better protected when compared with apologies!
    So I think we can Stay Green, Clean, Hygiene, and Comfortable with
    Thanks for your necessary and important sharing.

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