The kitchen may be one of the most popular places in your dwelling where the family loves to congregate. It can also be one of the germiest rooms of a home. Even cooking utensils such as a spatula and whisk to appliances such as ovens and grills can house more germs than your bathroom toilet. The following are the top 10 bacteria-ridden spots that may be making you sick.
1. Oven Knobs and Handle
It’s common to open and close the oven door periodically while you’re cooking. You may even place pots on the stove burner to heat food. Unfortunately, you may be doing so without washing your hands properly. This allows germs and bacteria such as norovirus, shigella, e-coli, campylobacter and salmonella to contaminate the oven door handle and knobs of the stove.
The kitchen sponge is typically used to wash dishes, wipe spills and clean appliances. But this porous cleaning vessel can carry 200,000 times more debris than what you would find in your toilet. If dirty enough, the bacteria found on the sponge may even cause illnesses such as Guillain-Barre syndrome. This is a disease that causes paralysis and loss of body movement.
3. Cooking Utensils
Cooking utensils are instrumental for preparing, serving and displaying food. But if you fail to clean them in between processes, you could be spreading germs such as salmonella and e-coli. It’s especially important to clean knives, forks, spoons, spatulas and serving dishes when you go from raw to cooked food.
4. Tablets and Mobile Devices
Smartphones, computers and tablets are instrumental pieces of technology. In the kitchen, you may use the devices to look up a recipe and watch a cooking demonstration. But the electronics are known for housing germs and bacteria. If you’re in the middle of cooking, baking or grilling meat, you may touch the device throughout the cooking process with dirty hands.
5. Fruit and Veggies
Produce from the market is nutritious and delicious. It can also be ridden with germs and bacteria, especially if left out in an open bin where multitudes of people are touching the pieces. After you get your fruit and veggies from the market, everything must be thoroughly washed to rid the items of bacteria and pesticides that may be left on the surface.
6. Hand Towel
Another source of contamination found in the kitchen is the hand towel. Think of all the things that you use the towel for throughout the day. From the counter and sink to dirty dishes and messy spills, this piece of fabric is sure to be germ-ridden. Disposable paper towels can easily alleviate the spread of salmonella and germs.
Because the dishwasher uses exceptionally hot water to clean its contents, most people are under the illusion that you’re killing germs. But the dishwasher faucet can spread bacteria during food preparation. With every touch, you could be extending your germ growth to other surfaces within your home.
8. Refrigerator Storage
Storing food in the refrigerator left from a meal cuts down on waste and grocery bills. But if you leave the items four days or longer, you may be setting you and your family up for foodborne illnesses such as listeria and salmonella. You can watch for symptoms of food poisoning to include vomiting, stomach pains and diarrhea.
9. Your Hands
During the cold and flu season, you may be diligent about washing your hands, especially when out in public. When you’re cooking, it’s also important to keep your hands clean to reduce the spread of e-coli and salmonella. Whether you’ve touched raw meat, petted the dog or handled unwashed produce, make frequent stops to the sink and clean your hands with soap and warm water.
The garbage bin in the kitchen is a breeding ground for bacteria. You can lessen your risk of sickness and spreading the dangerous pathogens through washing your hands thoroughly after you’ve deposited something in your kitchen trash bin. Antibacterial soap or gel and hot water work best in getting rid of any germs.