I have just finished reading an article by Lauren Gelman at Reader's Digest that has really made me question just how clean my kitchen really is. She opened my eyes to 7 surprisingly germy kitchen items that I never think to clean. I won't go into detail on all 7 because I don't want to induce a panic attack, but there are 3 of the 7 which, knowing what I now know, seem very common sense, but which I have unfortunately devoted not a lot of attention to during previous kitchen cleaning efforts.
Culprit number 1: the can opener. How many times do we open a can of tomato sauce, or tuna or beans only to quickly and thoughtlessly just toss the opener back into its respective drawer? I know the answer for me, is most of the time. But the business end of that can opener is far from clean. Among all the nooks and crannies of this kitchen must have are remnants of whatever you just opened. They may not be glaring, and therefore, catch your eye, but they are there and they might very well be breeding ground for very unpleasant food borne illnesses like salmonella and e coli. Wash those can openers off folks.
Culprit number 2: The blender gasket. I know, the intricate, sharp little blender gasket was definitely not made with our delicate, often clumsy human hands in mind, but it deserves an attempt, if not a soak, at the very least. That fruit smoothie you just made, full of delicious Greek yogurt, and frozen berries and and, if you're an angel, kale...Some of those healthy ingredients are now stuck in the labyrinthine network of grooves and and edges that is your blender gasket, and, again, like the can opener, prime real estate for offensive, potentially quite harmful, food borne bacteria.
Culprit 3: Your vegetable crisper. I went and looked at my crisper after reading that because I thought it sounded like germophobia, but on second thought, even though there is nothing "raw", let's call it, sitting in there on a daily basis, how clean are those industrially farmed English cucumbers and green peppers? There have been many cases of salmonella being traced back to lettuce, even recalls of entire shipments because of it. If you are like me and eat a lot of produce, you are constantly introducing new contaminants into that crisper and if you are not washing the fruit and vegetables off properly before you eat them, ingesting them yourself. I know the crisper might not look or even feel like anything other than cold, hard plastic or metal, but with that information, it is probably worth a wipe down.
For the full list of forgotten, but very real kitchen offenders, visit the link to Reader's Digest at the bottom of this article.
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