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   Tip #110 – Kitchen Germ-ination

The kitchen can be a germination ground that breeds bacteria that may contaminate food and can then get us sick.  There are about 76 million cases of food-borne illnesses a year, and most of them occur from bugs in our very own homes. While no kitchen will ever be germ-free, here are some tips that can help reduce the bacteria that might transfer into food:

  • Wash your hands (see Tip 102) before beginning to prepare food.  Wash them again after you touch raw meat, fish, or vegetables, and between touching these different foods (to reduce cross-contamination).
  • Microwave kitchen sponges on high for one minute, every day.
  • Launder or microwave discloths regularly, three or more times a week.
  • Clean the kitchen sink drain, disposal and connecting pipe once a week.  Sanitize them by pouring down the sink a solution of 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of chlorine bleach in 1 quart (about 1 liter) of water or a solution of commercial kitchen cleaning agent made according to product directions. Food particles get trapped in the drain and disposal and, along with the moistness, create an ideal environment for bacterial growth.


An estimated 76 million cases of foodborne disease occur each year in the United States. Serious cases can result in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths annually.  ~ U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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