Are you curious to see what items in your kitchen could be making you fall ill? Some are very surprising and some we should all be better with cleaning, so take a look and see what you can change in your kitchen to stay healthy!
We all love the kitchen, but are you potentially getting sick from the items you use in it?
Since the kitchen is where we gather the most while either entertaining guests or where we ultimately go to nourish our bodies when hunger ensues, the kitchen does include several places that could be potentially making you fall under the weather!
Yes, the kitchen is prone to some non-sanitary and ever consuming invisible germs and as much as we would love to have a kitchen free from germs, sometimes even the cleanest, healthiest, and most germ-free places in your home can still get you sick.
So let’s dive in to see the most popular kitchen items that are making you fall ill (and how to fix them!).
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10 Kitchen things Making YOU fall Ill (& How to Fix It!)
1. Kitchen cleaning sponge.
One of the most important cleaning supplies in your kitchen is actually your filthiest — kitchen sponges.
That’s because if you don’t refresh your sponge frequently, it is simply a gold mine for bacteria.
In fact, an analysis of kitchen things and the bacteria that they hold showed 19.6 billion bacterias live on the average kitchen sponge.
In addition, did you know that that statistic is far worse than the handles of a toilet cleaner?
Further studies also found large colonies of Acinetobacter, Moraxella, and Chryseobacterium along with E. Coli, and salmonella on kitchen sponges that were being used way past their expiration date.
So if you have been using the same sponge for months, know that your kitchen sponges have been largely ineffective at sanitizing your counters and dishes by just cleaning them out yourself.
In fact, scientists in the study suggest replacing your kitchen cleaning sponge once a week.
2. Improper Food Handling.
When it comes to getting less sick from kitchen items, how you handle your food is everything, and here’s how you could be doing it wrong.
You may be undercooking your food, using unwashed produce, skipping hand washing while cooking (due to forgetfulness), or cross-contaminating other foods that create a recipe for bacteria to multiply.
So if you are not handling your food correctly, be forewarned that bacteria can multiply rapidly.
3. Improper thawing.
When it comes to preparing your proteins such as cold meat for dinner, you’d think that letting it sit for a few hours in the sink or on the counter is the right thing to do, right?
After all, the meat is far too cold for germs to ever build and get you sick! Well, the answer to that is, regrettably, no!
First off, bacteria can grow on anything warmer than 40°F and cooler than 140°F.
Once the meat is within this range, bacteria will start to grow.
Second, freezing cannot kill germs that have already grown on food. Therefore, it is essential to be on top of things when it comes to your thawing measures.
Food experts suggest that if you have time, thawing your meat in the fridge is the safest method for keeping your food bacteria-free.
You can also thaw your food in a cold water bath in the sink or in the microwave if time is not on your side.
Also, don’t forget to cook the food you thawed shortly after it thawed out. That way you know for sure that your food is not going to make you sick!
Many of us love our fabric hand towels to quickly dry our hands or to do quick cleaning around the kitchen.
However, if you also forget to clean them regularly, you may want to rethink how you’re using your kitchen towels in your home.
In this study by Healthline, they found that your dishtowels are teeming with bacteria that can potentially cause food poisoning and harbor E. coli if you are not washing them soon after every use.
Food experts suggest washing any dish towel that has been previously used with extra hot soapy water to help combat spreading germs.
5. Can openers.
An old-school-style can opener accumulates bacteria like salmonella and E. coli because the wheel gets food from inside the can on it and then it doesn’t get washed properly if it is not sanitized with high heat.
Experts suggest placing can openers in the dishwasher on extra hot sanitize mode or washing your can openers in extremely hot, soapy water after every use.
You may want to think twice before eating or reheating your leftovers — as not all leftovers should be treated the same.
In fact, foods that have been found to cause more sickness (when consumed after they’ve been cooked already) are eggs, beets, spinach, and seafood to name a few.
According to the FDA, these foods build up with bacteria pretty fast after they are cooked or rehandled. Also, bacteria will grow very quickly on any seafood that you are considering reheating again.
So always bear in mind when you are handling these types of foods as leftovers!
7. Reusable shopping bags.
Reusable shopping bags can be a great way to help the environment (so never stop using them). However, experts advise that you don’t leave your dirty shopping bags in a hot car.
Because bacteria thrive in moist-prone and high temperatures, many people forget to wash their bags after using them.
Foodsafe experts recommend washing your reusable shopping bags with extra hot soapy water to prevent cross-contamination from meat juices and unwashed produce.
Cross-contamination is a real problem in the kitchen, as most foodborne illnesses don’t just come from the food we eat.
In fact, foodborne illnesses particularly come through cross-contamination.
For instance, if you use a knife for everything, this can lead to cross-contamination while preparing meals.
To combat this, health experts suggest having one designated knife strictly for raw meats and another for every other cutting requirement like cutting and preparing vegetables.
If you do this, you’ll improve any chances of the raw meat entering and contaminating your freshly cut food and vice versa.
9. Improper use and cleaning of cutting boards.
Cutting boards are practically magnets for bacteria in the kitchen but this could be due to how you are handling and cleaning your cutting boards.
For instance, since small little cracks are getting cut onto the surface of each board after every use this is a bacteria landfill that could be potentially making you sick.
Experts recommend that wooden cutting boards used frequently be washed in hot soapy water.
To be safe, plastic cutting boards can be put in the dishwasher during the sanitize cycle.
10. Microwave popcorn (surprising, right?).
Although microwave popcorn is not something to clean and is considered safe to eat, you should still know this because it’s very surprising!
When you are ready to eat your freshly popped kernels from the bag after they popped in the microwave, did you know that chemicals are trying to escape from the bag such as diacetyl?
Apparently, this chemical is extremely bad for your respiratory system and can make you fall sick if you breathe in the steam that is being released from the popcorn bag too soon.
Of course, you can do some more reading on this here, but basically, it’s not safe to inhale the steam just after you open the bag.
To get around this, opt to make your own popcorn at home with a popcorn maker, or simply let your microwave popcorn breathe by transferring the contents into a separate bowl before taking your first bite.
There you have it! Your kitchen is supposed to be one of the cleanest, healthiest, and most germ-free places in your home.
And there’s no need to be falling ill when these little easy fixes can be implemented with little to no effort at all.
Thanks for reading!
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