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Hidden Kitchen Germs Threaten Families
Date:6/25/2008

International Study Shows Nearly 90 Percent of Sponges and Half of Sinks

Harbor High Levels of Illness-Causing Bacteria

PARSIPPANY, N.J., June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly half of all kitchen sinks harbor high levels of potentially dangerous bacteria, according to a new international study released today, sponsored by LYSOL(R) brand products.(1) In fact, investigators swabbing for bacteria in the United States and around the world found that 46 percent(2) of kitchen sinks - which families use for everything from bathing babies to washing pet food dishes - harbor unsatisfactory or heavily contaminated levels of bacteria, including E. coli, which can cause urinary tract infections, pneumonia and diarrhea.(3) Surprisingly, the kitchen sink hosts more germs than the bathroom sink, the refrigerator door handle or even the toys that our toddlers chew on.(4)

Americans' current kitchen cleaning habits don't help protect their families from illness-causing germs according to the new study from the Hygiene Council, a group of leading international infectious disease specialists. Despite 90 percent of U.S. respondents claiming to clean their kitchen surfaces two to three times per week, 25 percent of kitchen sinks analyzed failed the hygiene test for having unsatisfactory or heavily contaminated levels of bacteria that indicated the presence of feces or can cause skin infections.(5) Given the recent outbreak of Salmonella, linked to tomatoes in 17 states, Americans need to be particularly careful about how they clean and disinfect their sinks after washing off fruits and vegetables to avoid cross contamination of kitchen surfaces.

"This tells us that while most American families make a concerted effort to try and keep their homes clean and safe, they are not following basic hygiene habits to help protect themselves and their children," said John Oxford, chairman of the Hygiene Council and Professor of Virology at St. Bartholomew's & The
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SOURCE LYSOL
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