Neat freaks and germophobes might want to prepare themselves: a new study from NSF International has tested 14 common kitchen items to see which ones tend to grow the most icky bacteria and mold, CBS News reports.
The study asked volunteers to swab the blender, can-opener, flatware storage trays, storage containers with rubber seals, knife blocks, microwave keypads, pizza-cutters, spatulas, strainers, and the refrigerator ice dispenser (not to mention meat and vegetable compartments in the refrigerator). The swabs were then analyzed for microorganisms E.Coli, salmonella, yeast and mold, and listeria.
Scary stats revealed that 25 percent of the items had E. coli (meat compartment, spatula, blender gasket, can-opener, pizza cutter). Salmonella was found in the meat and vegetable compartments, spatulas, blender, gasket, ice and water dispensers, and on the rubber seals of storage containers.
Listeria, the least common, was only found on 10 percent of the items tested, but yeast and mold were found on 100 percent of the items.
So what items should we look out for the most? The vegetable compartment, spatula, blender gasket, and ice and water dispensers had the highest amount of yeast and mold, but dish sponges and rags are (not surprisingly) the germiest of all items in the kitchen.
In the kitchen, however, vegetable and meat compartments, the blender gasket, can-openers, rubber spatulas, and rubber-sealed food containers were considered the "germiest," making us rethink any rubber tools in our kitchen. But really, we all need to become a tad bit more OCD about our kitchen safety; "I think the biggest oversight that people make is they don't follow the manufacturer's instructions when it comes to cleaning, Lisa Yakas at NSF told CBS News. "They just don't think these places can be dirty."