So, as you’re clearing out the clutter from the neglected places like cabinets and shelves, do not forget the everyday places around the kitchen, like counters and sinks, which can be bacteria breeding grounds hiding in plain sight.
“There are so many food safety-related things that people don’t often consider, such as handling raw chicken and then grabbing the spice bottle—with unwashed hands—to season it, and then putting the seasoning back in the cabinet. Spring is a good time to review your food safety practices and incorporate some new healthy habits into your daily routine,” says Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of StopFoodborne Illness, a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens.
Sponges and dishrags: If they’re used for cleaning why aren’t they clean?
You would think that sponges and dishrags would be some of the cleanest items in your house, because they are used with cleaning and disinfecting agents. But think again. Public health and safety firm NSF International found that 72 percent of sponges and dishrags were contaminated with bacteria which can cause food poisoning, making them the germiest thing in your house.
The refrigerator is one of the most neglected spots when cleaning. When The Today Show’s national investigative correspondent, Jeff Rossen, went germ-hunting in his home he found that his fridge’s shelves had a reading of 904 on the bacteria meter, slightly over nine times higher than what experts consider acceptable.According to an article by CNET Contributor Alina Bradford, it’s a good idea to perform a deep cleaning of your refrigerator on a seasonal basis. Here are her tips on how to do it:
- Remove everything from the fridge and put perishables in a cooler with some ice.
- Look at your condiments and toss them if they’re past the “use by” date.
- Remove the meat and vegetable drawers. Soak them in a bathtub or sink full of warm sudsy water.
- While the drawers are soaking, wipe down the inside of the fridge, the door panels, the top of the fridge and the seals. Make a good cleaning solution with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart (about 1 liter) of hot water.
- Rinse everything you wiped down with a wet, clean cloth.
- Rinse the vegetable and meat drawers with warm water, dry them and put them back into the fridge.
The key to safe handling of raw meat is to avoid cross contamination when you prepare your raw meat for the grill. Touch raw meat as little as possible, and don’t let raw meat touch cabinets, drawers, or other items on the counter when preparing it. Do not cut vegetables on the same board, or with the same knife, used on raw meat. Better yet, designate specific boards and knives for only raw meat. And, always wash your hands.Stop Foodborne Illness wishes you a fantastic spring! We’re confident you’ll enjoy the warm weather even more knowing you’re helping your family avoid foodborne illness.About Stop Foodborne Illness
Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by promoting sound food safety policy and best practices, building public awareness, and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit www.Stopfoodborneillness.org/awareness/. If you think you have been sickened from food, contact your local health professional. You may subscribe to receive StopFoodborne Illness e-Alerts and eNews here: www.Stopfoodborneillness.org/take-action/sign-up-for-e-alerts/.Follow Stop’s latest news at www.newsline360.com/stopfoodborneillness.
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