Monday, January 29, 2007

Kitchen Germs

excerpt taken from this article:
Between 50 percent and 80 percent of all food-borne illnesses are contracted in the home.

Restaurants and supermarkets are bound to health codes by law: Food storage, food handling, utensil cleaning and cooking temperatures are all regulated. In the home, all bets are off.

Cross-contamination and the mishandling of food lead to some 72 million instances of disease in the U.S. every year. There are more than 250 known food-borne diseases, including botulism, salmonella, shigella, listeria, campylobacter and hepatitis A.

The dirtiest item in anybody’s home is the kitchen sponge.

The dirtiest room is the kitchen, the dirtiest spot is the sink and the worst culprits are the sponge or dish towel. Bacteria colonies with a total population exceeding 50 million can live on a single dirty sponge. And that’s what you use to wipe down countertops, forks and drinking glasses. Blecch.

The best bet is to soak the sponge for about a minute in a solution of bleach and water (approximately 1 ounce of bleach to a quart of water will do) after each use. Another option is to boil the sponge for three minutes. Nuking a sponge is not as effective, since microwaves have dead spots, and dishwashers won’t necessarily reach 155 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature needed to kill germs.

Some might think I am a little paranoid about this stuff. I keep a bottle of bleach and water under my kitchen sink, and I use it all the time.

This is the bottle, but it's not really Clorox Clean-Up. Years ago I bought a bottle of the Clorox. I saved the empty bottle and fill it myself with a splash of bleach and plain old water. (You want to be sure to label the bottle so you don't spray bleach where you don't want it!)

Every time I cook chicken, I spray the counter, the cutting board, the knives, etc. with this. (I had just finished spraying this bowl that I tossed my chicken fingers in). I spray the bottom of the sink, too.

I let it sit a few minutes and then just wash with good hot soapy water.

It makes me feel good to read the article above, which pretty much says to do exactly what I've been doing for years.

There are two cleaning items that I could not live without:
#1 Bleach
#2 a Toothbrush

What about you? Which two cleaning items do you use most often?


  1. I keep a bottle of Windex and paper towels under every bathroom sink and I wash them down twice per day. I have to have spotless sinks in the bathrooms!

  2. Paper towels also in the Kitchen. I also clean my bathroom floors with scrubbing bubbles and paper towels.;o)

  3. I buy the generic Walmart brand of Clorox clean up for 98 cents and use that regularly on all counters and the table. I hope it not only kills food-bourne illnesses but any other nasty virus' that are hanging around.

    I also love my pampered chef scraper. It comes with their stoneware or you can buy a pack of three. They scrape anything off the counters.

  4. I use my Javex bleach in the kitchen and my Comet cleanser in the washrooms...I also love using an old toothbrush to clean the tough to get at spots like the shower door track!

  5. Yes I use the bleach and water too. Have you ever seen the show on HGTV kitchen crimes, I can't believe some of the things that grow in our kitchens.

  6. Susie,I keep the same under my sinks, but I am afraid that I don't use them nearly that often! LOL

    Sandra, is scrubbing bubbles a brand name?

    Jodi, I think it kills everything. I see tv chefs use those scrapers all the time, but I don't have one.

    Pea, I've found someone else who uses a toothbrush! Most people just roll their eyes when I mention the toothbrush. :)

    Pat, I have seen that a time or two. On one show I almost barfed when they took the dishcloth and wiped off the bottom of the kid's feet with it and then finished washing the dish. Just the thought still makes me cringe! I forgot to mention how nice it was to learn you are a fellow bean pot collector!

  7. >What about you? Which two cleaning items do you use most often?<

    Paper towels (that's two, right?). And they have to have pretty pictures on them.

  8. I use anti-bacterial dish soap most of the time(over using this is not recommended and I have it in the bathroom). I do use sponges over dish clothes that I run through the dishwasher a lot and use the above soap on. I use paper towels and also old toothbrushes for those hard to reach areas.
    My son was pretty healthy (knock wood) all the way through elementary-high school and hardly missed. He is an only, but he did make me sick a few times. ; )

  9. Bleach is a strong substance and a little goes a long way. Never mix it with ammonia-deadly combo.
    The hoagie/sub place down the road uses what Zoey uses which is a good thing. I saw the girl who works there using it on the wall where people tend to lean (and I smelled the bleach too).
    Watch your eyes and skin too.

  10. I saw your toothbrush post above and commented there about how I use one for cleaning too. But this makes me laugh. Not only do I make my own bleach and water spray, but I use an old Clorox Clean-up bottle to put it in, too. ;)

  11. There's a huge selection of ,modern and traditional kitchen sinks available in all styles and materials. Take a look


I appreciate you taking the time and effort to leave a comment. I will try to answer any questions you have. Please note due to Blogger changing word verification so almost nobody can read it, I have had to change to no word verification and only allow registered users to comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...