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

nest' kitchen cloth or sponge is a potential bacterial bomb because it can spread germs from surface to surface, cross contaminating everything it touches. People need to be educated about how to prevent this type of germ-spread in order to protect their families from illness," said Philip M. Tierno, Ph.D., U.S. representative to the Hygiene Council and director of Clinical Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology at New York University Medical Center.(16) "As a council, we recommend that families follow simple hygiene routines. These include:"

-- Surface Disinfection -- Thirty percent (30 percent) of Americans surveyed said they most commonly clean their surfaces with a regular kitchen cleaner, water or plain dry cloth or sponge(17) -- none of which kill germs. Bacteria-laden surfaces such as the sink basin and commonly touched surfaces, such as the kitchen sink handle, should be regularly sprayed down with a disinfectant like LYSOL(R) Disinfectant Spray. To reduce the chances of cross contamination, skip the sponges and instead clean kitchen surfaces with a disinfectant product before preparing food and immediately after surfaces have been in contact with raw foods such as meat and poultry.(18)

-- Hand Washing -- Wash your hands frequently and regularly, especially after going to the bathroom, before and after preparing food, after changing a diaper, after touching animals and pets and if someone in your household is ill. It is important to use soap and water, scrub underneath your nails and the back of your hands and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.(19)

-- Proper Food Handling -- To avoid food-borne illness, cook and store food at the proper temperature. Separate raw meats from fresh produce and packaged goods in your grocery bag and refrigerator. Regularly disinfect surfaces to prevent cross contamination.(20)

The Hygiene Council recommendations are consistent and in support of recommendations made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Cont
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