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Micro-organisms Ensconced in the Kitchen Sponge Meet Their Nemesis in a Microwave

Gainesville: This is indeed a brain wave from researchers working at the University of Florida. For all those obstinate micro-organisms clinging to your kitchen// sponge and utensils, there is a solution right here in your very kitchen. Just swirl the kitchen sponge in a microwave, and lo, you have a sterile sponge in a jiffy.

"Basically what we find is that we could knock out most bacteria in two minutes," said study co-author Gabriel Bitton. "People often put their sponges and scrubbers in the dishwasher, but if they really want to decontaminate them and not just clean them, they should use the microwave."

Home kitchen is a thriving place for pathogens, especially from uncooked eggs, meat and vegetables which somehow slink into utensils, countertops, and cleaning devices. Bitton, Richard Melker and Dong Kyoo Park are of the opinion that more than 90 percent of Americans with microwaves in their kitchens are certainly well-armed against E. coli, salmonella and other food-borne pathogens.

Using the highest power mode in the microwave, for just two minutes, destroyed almost 99% living pathogens in the sponges and pads; Further, researchers discovered that the Bacillus cereus spores, needed four minutes in the microwave to surrender. They inferred that it is better to microwave the sponges as often as possible, or at least as frequently as food is cooked.

The study is published in the Journal of Environmental Health.
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