A 2013 study identified the six germiest items in the kitchen. These items were found to have pathogens (disease-causing agents) on them that can cause someone, especially children, pregnant women, and older adults, to become ill. Risk of illness can be lowered by using the cleaning tips below.
|Kitchen Item||Pathogen Found||How to Decrease Pathogens|
|Can opener||salmonella, E. coli, yeast, and mold||Handheld: Wash in hot soapy water, rinse, and air dry after each use.
Electric: Using a clean cloth, wash the cutter, feed gear, and magnet with hot soapy water. Rinse with a wet, clean cloth.
|Vegetable drawer of refrigerator||salmonella, listeria, yeast, and mold||Wash in hot soapy water, rinse and air dry after each use.|
|Blender||salmonella, E. coli, yeast, and mold||Dishwasher Safe: Wash blender in the dishwasher.
Not Dishwasher Safe: Wash in hot soapy water, rinse, and dry before reassembling.
|Rubber spatula||E. coli, yeast, and mold||Wash in hot soapy water, paying special attention to the area where the handle joins the spatula.|
|Refrigerator meat compartment||salmonella, E. coli, yeast, and mold||Use a clean cloth and wash the bin with a mild detergent mixed with warm water. Thoroughly rinse with warm, clean water and dry.|
|Food storage container with rubber seal||salmonella, yeast, and mold||Wash in hot soapy water, paying special attention to any grooves where the cover attaches to the container. Then rinse and dry.|
|General Safe Food Practices:
• Always wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 10–15 seconds.
• Avoid cross-contamination by storing ready-to-eat foods on top of uncooked foods, such as meat, to avoid raw juices dripping on other foods.