By Denise Mann From the WebMD Archives While bathrooms get a bad rap when it comes to germs, it's the kitchen that actually harbors more bacteria than any other room in the home. Feature Stories Germs in the Kitchen The kitchen harbors more germs than any other room in the home. The number of bacteria it takes to make people sick can range from as few as 10 up to millions. And try using color coded paper cups: After you wash your hands , dry them with a paper towel -- not a communal hand towel that can be a safe haven for germs, Schachter says. And infections spread when germs are transferred from a contaminated item say, your cutting board to your hands to your body. Or cool and refrigerate it within one hour.
The number of bacteria it takes to make people sick can range from as few as 10 up to millions. And like sponges, using a dirty dish rag to clean a kitchen countertop will only spread germs. Better yet, "use separate boards for raw meat and making salads. Practice good dishrag etiquette. Continued Wipe away germs. Your best bet is to replace rags about once a week. The drains in both your kitchen sink and bathtub provide yet another moist hideaway for bacteria. And try using color coded paper cups: Use disinfectant spray or wipes on sink faucets, refrigerator handles, stove handles, cupboard handles, trashcans, doorknobs, and any other area that you touch with your hands. And these germs -- the same ones that can cause a cold or flu to spread through a household like wildfire - lurk everywhere from the sponges you use to clean your countertop to your cutting board and the drain in your sink. One single bacteria cell can become more than 8 million cells in less than 24 hours! And never reheat food more than once, he says. Make sure your refrigerator is stocked with healthy fruits, vegetables, and snacks year-round. Flu season spans from November through March, while cold season runs from about September until March or April. Assign each member of the household a different color. Here are 10 tips to protect your family. But a little hygiene can help keep your kitchen bug-free this cold and flu season. Here are 10 ways to get started: Continued Wash your hands before meals and snacks. Cooking food thoroughly and evenly will reduce the number of germs. Kitchen sponges are the No. Cracks and crevices in your cutting board provide plenty of space for bacteria to grow. Eat cooked food immediately. Wiping your counters or dishes with a dirty sponge will only transfer the bacteria from one item to another. Generally, the higher the temperature reached, the more germs are killed. The moist, micro-crevices that make a sponge such an effective cleaning device also make it a cozy home for germs and more difficult to disinfect. And infections spread when germs are transferred from a contaminated item say, your cutting board to your hands to your body.
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