Surprising Kitchen Dirty Spots
What’s the dirtiest place in your kitchen? If you guessed the microwave touch-pad, as 20 suburban Michigan families in a recent test did, you might be sur-prised. When microbiologists at the nonprofit NSF International group swabbed the families’ kitchens for bacteria, yeast and mold, the micro-wave wasn’t bad. But contaminants lurked in some unexpected places, with the worst being refrigerator ice and water dispensers, spatulas, blender gaskets (the rubber seal at the base), can openers, and meat and vegetable compartments in the fridge. Moist areas like ice and water dispensers were most prone to yeast and mold. Kitchen items that don’t get fully disassembled and cleaned (or, like can openers, cleaned at all before being put back in a drawer) were highest in E. coli, salmonella and other sources of foodborne illness.