Kitchen Contamination: How To Keep Your Family Safe
North American Precis Syndicate
A paper towel is the best way to clean up (and throw away) the bacteria found on a contaminated kitchen counter. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—The next time you need to wipe up a spill, health expert Dr.
Charles Gerba, Professor of Environmental
Microbiology, University of Arizona, aka "Dr. Germ," warns: don't
always reach for a sponge or dishcloth.
Instead, use a paper towel. That's because kitchen sponges, which he calls
"bacteria cafeterias," are the No. 1 source of germs in the house.
The average sponge carries nearly 5.5 trillion microscopic bugs.
When to Reach for a Paper Towel
1. According to a recent study on cleaning habits, the majority of millennials reach for sponges or cloth dishtowels when
cleaning surfaces that have raw meat or poultry. Dr. Gerba
recommends using paper towels, especially when prepping and cleaning up raw
meat and eggs. Sponges and dishtowels can instantly become contaminated after
handling these foods, which may contain bacteria such as E. coli and
salmonella, Dr. Gerba explains.
2. Paper towels should also be used to help contain spills and prevent
them (and subsequent germs) from spreading around the kitchen. Whether
soaking up bacon grease or cleaning up oil splatters, paper towels pick up
spills quickly and efficiently. For larger oil spills, cover with baking soda
or salt for about 15 minutes, then pick it up with a paper towel and throw it
3. When cleaning the refrigerator, dampen a paper towel with warm water
and dish washing liquid and wipe down all trays, drawers, shelves and walls
at least once a week. Using a sponge increases the risk of bacteria spreading
around the various surfaces and shelves.
4. When kids are in the kitchen, use paper towels to clean-up everything
from spills on high chair tables to sippy cups and
bibs. "This ensures germ-ridden messes get tossed right into the trash
and don't linger on kids' items," adds Dr. Gerba.
When People Actually Reach for a
While there's been an increasing amount of studies and data showcasing the
high bacterial risks associated with kitchen sponges and cloth dishtowels, a
recent study on cleaning habits showed that a over
half of millennials (59%) and nearly half of baby
boomers (49%) reach for a sponge or cloth dishtowel when cleaning kitchen
Even more surprising, less than half of millennials
think they run a risk of possible illness or food poisoning by not cleaning
these kitchen durables.
The truth is, sponges and cloth dishtowels become
germ-infested as soon as they're first used in the kitchen.
As for baby boomers, most clean their cloth dishtowels once a week, which
is still not as frequent as it should be (ideally, everyday). Also, how to
clean is just as important as when to clean.
"Cold water washes are awful for eliminating bacteria from
fabrics," says Dr. Gerba. "Washing
sponges in warm water does not get rid of the bacteria unless you add
bleach," he adds.
So when it comes to helping keep your kitchen clean and germ-free, let a
paper towel be your shield.
“When you need to wipe up a spill, warns “Dr. Germ” (Dr.
Charles Gerba), Professor of Environmental
Microbiology, University of Arizona, don’t
always reach for a sponge or dishcloth. Use a paper towel. Kitchen sponges
are the No. 1 source of germs in the house. http://bit.ly/2RLtocu”
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)