There are plenty of places where germs are hiding in our homes and offices, but the kitchen is a particularly important area to focus on, thanks to food-borne illnesses. You don't have to keep your kitchen immaculate; cleaning the biggest germ hot spots in the kitchen can go a long way towards protect your family.
Picture: Barbara Raskauskas/Flickr
NSF International, a non-profit public health organisation, conducted a small germ study, swabbing 14 items in 20 families' kitchens to discover the germiest spots were the refrigerator vegetable and meat compartments, blender gaskets, can openers and rubber spatulas.
Vegetable and meat drawers seem like common sense. NSF recommends cleaning these compartments monthly with a mild detergent mixed with warm water and keeping washed produce away from the unwashed ones.
But what about blender gaskets, can openers and rubber spatulas? These items have a few things in common: they involve more than one piece (for example, spatulas typically have a scraper and a handle that can be separated), creating areas where food residue can reside. Also, people tend not to completely disassemble their spatulas or blenders when washing them and may not even rinse their can openers. The solution is to pay special attention to areas where germs can gather.
Other surprises on the list are the refrigerator ice/water dispenser, knife blocks and food storage containers with rubber seals.
Check out the NSF press release for more kitchen cleaning advice for these areas we might be neglecting while trying to keep our kitchens clean.