Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
12:00 AM 15th June 2024

Bacteria Hotspots That Could Be Lurking In Your Kitchen

photo supplied by Mitchell & Cooper
photo supplied by Mitchell & Cooper
As an E. coli outbreak is sweeping the UK, how can we protect ourselves?

Maintaining kitchen cleanliness is crucial in keeping ourselves safe as everyday items can harbour dangerous bacteria and germs if neglected and can contribute to cases of food poisoning. In fact, did you know there's more bacteria on your chopping board than on your toilet seat?

Here is some informative content from professional kitchen equipment person Guy Cooper from Mitchell & Cooper:

Can/tin opener: Often overlooked in a deep cleaning routine, it can accumulate harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. Ensure to thoroughly clean and sanitise your can opener after each use to prevent contamination.
Knife blocks: Kinfe storage can often go unnoticed during cleaning routines but can accumulate food particles and bacteria if left unchecked. Disassemble your knife block and clean each slot with warm, soapy water. Ensure it's completely dry before reassembling to prevent mould growth.
Wooden spoons and utensils: They may be kitchen essentials, but they can absorb odours and harbour bacteria over time. To refresh them, create a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, and soak the utensils for a few hours. Then, rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry.
Refrigerator seals: The rubber seals around refrigerator doors provide an airtight seal to keep your food fresh. However, they can also trap moisture and food particles, creating an ideal environment for mould and bacteria to thrive. Regularly wipe down the seals with a mixture of vinegar and water to prevent buildup.
Reusable grocery bags: While reusable grocery bags are eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags, they can harbour harmful bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Food spills and leaks can contaminate the interior of the bags, leading to bacterial growth. Wash reusable bags in hot, soapy water after each use, and allow them to air dry thoroughly.
Coffee makers: Your morning cup of coffee may be harbouring more than just caffeine. Coffee makers, especially those with water reservoirs, can accumulate mineral deposits, mould, and bacteria over time. Regularly clean your coffee maker by running a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar through a brewing cycle, followed by a cycle of clean water to rinse.
Rubber spatulas: Rubber spatulas are versatile kitchen tools, but their crevices can trap food particles and bacteria if not cleaned properly. Pay close attention to the area where the rubber meets the handle, as this is a common hiding spot for bacteria. Wash rubber spatulas thoroughly with hot, soapy water, and consider replacing them if they show signs of wear and tear.
Sink drain: While it may seem counterintuitive, the very place where you wash your dishes can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Food particles and organic matter can accumulate in the sink drain, creating a foul odour and providing a habitat for bacteria. Regularly clean your sink drain by pouring boiling water down the drain, followed by a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to break down buildup.

By paying attention to these surprising hiding spots for bacteria in your kitchen and incorporating them into your cleaning routine, you can ensure a healthier and safer environment for you and your family.

Guy Cooper, Managing Director at Mitchell & Cooper says:
“Restaurants, bars, and other establishments in the hospitality industry have very high cleaning standards for a reason, and your kitchen should be no different. Bacteria can grow at a rapid rate leading to illness, disease, and even death in extreme cases. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your cleaning gloves, and get ready to rejuvenate your kitchen. Your future self will thank you for it.

“By targeting overlooked bacteria hotspots, employing innovative cleaning solutions, and tackling neglected areas, you can achieve a sparkling clean kitchen that's conducive to a healthy living environment.”