Dr Oz: Germ Prevention Tips – National Sanitation Foundation
You would have probably guessed some of the biggest germ hotspots are in your kitchen and bathroom, but it might surprise you where they are hiding in those rooms. Dr. Oz invited an expert from the National Sanitation Foundation onto the show to go over the different ways you can rid your home of unhealthy germs for good.
Salmonella Found in “Clean” Blenders
Dr. Oz invited Lisa Yakas, a microbiologist with the National Sanitation Foundation, on the show to explain to everyone where she has found the most germs in a home. While not all germs are bad for your health, Yakas said she has found e. coli, Salmonella, yeast and mold in kitchen blenders because many people never take the time to break down the blender into separate pieces to clean it. Even if you thoroughly clean the blender when you take it apart, it is not completely clean until you have removed the gasket that sits under the blade and cleaned that as well. Yakas said the gasket is the sot they found the most bacteria.
Tips For Cleaning a Blender
Remember these cleaning tip when cleaning your blender:
- Separate gasket, blades, jar and lid when cleaning the blender.
- Wash pieces in hot, soapy water.
- Dry completely before reassembling to keep mold out.
Clean Coffee Maker Every Month to Keep Germs Away
Dr. Oz has always believed his coffee maker was pretty free of germs because of the temperature of the water in the machine. Just because the water gets hot, doesn’t mean there are now germs though. Yakas said the dark, moist environment is a great breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
Try following these guidelines the next time your make a cup of coffee:
- Clean coffee machine every 1 to 2 months.
- Fill with white vinegar and soak the coffee machine reservoir for 30 minutes. Like a cleanse for the coffee maker. Make sure to clean out the machine before using for coffee again.
- Run through a washing machine and repeat with two cycles of water.
Sponges Contain the Most Germs in a Home
Did you ever think the one tool you use to clean your entire house could be the tool with the most germs? Yakas said the sponges we use to clean our house and our dishes are the germiest places in the whole house. They are the easiest to sanitize though. For the steel wool, Yakas said they are harder to clean and they do have more germs.
- Once per day place your wet sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes to kill germs.
- Replace sponges every 2 weeks.
Plastic Spatulas Harbor Germs
Did you ever think your utensil drawer could be full of germs as well? Yakas said there are hidden germs all over the drawers and one of the places germs love to hide the most is in plastic spatulas. Yaka said it is very important to pull the spatula apart and clean the two pieces separately If you have a spatula that comes in one piece, make sure to wash the area closest to the spatala area with hot soapy water.
Can Opener Holds Germs, Contaminates Food
Yakas said the can opener is another appliance in the kitchen that holds a lot of bacteria. The one spot in the can opener where the most germs reside is on the blade. Yakas said we use the can opener to open all cans, so it is essentially touching all our foods and then being put back in the drawer.
- Use hot soapy water to clean the blade on the can opener.
- A toothbrush works best.
Before moving on to the fridge, Dr. Oz made sure everyone at home knew 20 percent of all food illnesses come from your own kitchen.
Proper Way to Clean the Fridge
Yakas said there are four major problem areas inside the fridge but many of us do not even think to clean those areas even though they are right in front of our faces.
Meat Drawer – Yakas said to make sure meat is packed well, separated from different types of meat and to be careful no juices get on other types of meat. She also suggested cleaning out the drawer at least once a month with hot, soapy water.
Vegetable Drawer – Yakas said the vegetable drawer should be taken care of the same way as the meat drawer. Everything should also be bagged and separated.
Insulator Seal – The seal along the edge of the fridge door is a bacteria’s dream. This should be wiped down with hot, soapy water once a month.
Ice Maker – The ice maker in the fridge actually comes out of the fridge, something Dr. Oz knew nothing about. Yakas said it is important to clean the ice machine but bacteria can grow inside the machine without you ever noticing.