When people worry about germs, you usually hear them talk about workstations, door knobs, and gas station toilets. But the fact is there are also a ton of germs lurking in the friendliest and most-used room in your home: the kitchen! We spoke with Lisa Yakas from the National Sanitation Foundation to find out the grimiest place in your kitchen.
1. Produce Drawer
We know, we’re surprised, too! But your produce is the most germ-ridden place in your kitchen. “Vegetables grow in the dirt,” Lisa explains, “so it makes sense that the vegetable drawer can gather some of that dirt in the process." Additionally, farm dirt contains fertilizer. And fertilizer can be a euphemism for poop. That's right, your produce drawer is your poop drawer. Sorry if we've just ruined all your diets, since you'll never eat fresh vegetables again…
2. Meat Drawer
Number two on our list also makes total sense. Beware of the bloody puddle in your refrigerator's meat drawer. “Make sure you don't have any of those raw meat juices,” advises Lisa. “And you never want to store any meats above any fresh produce.” You don’t want that icky juice to drain into your clean, fresh produce. Because the produce drawer must be clean, right? Guess again…
3. Blender Gasket
This on our list is your blender gasket! So clean it individually. “Take it apart, fully disassemble it, take the blade out, [and] take the gasket out,” Lisa admonishes. Duly noted! Unless you want a salmonella smoothie, toss your disassembled blender parts in the dishwasher, too. Or you can hand wash it with hot, soapy water – and then let them dry completely before re-assembling.
4. Can Openers
Your can opener might be handy, but it also harbors a plethora of germs. “If you think about all the different types of food that can openers touch,” Lisa warns, “it’s no surprise that they can gather microorganisms and all kinds of old, gunky, dried food.” Gross! What kind of germs are we talking about? “We found in our study that they had E. coli, salmonella, and yeast and mold,” reveals Lisa. Uh, these are not in any recipe we’ve cooked!
Knowing where germs live can help you protect your family. Lisa says the solution is as easy a remembering to clean those oft-overlooked places to stave off food-borne illness.
Which item on our list of germy kitchen areas shocks you to most?! Tell us by following our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.