The kitchen is the setting of our dearest sensory memories. The smell of sautéed garlic, the taste of slow-cooked chili, or the texture of fresh pasta dough can transport us back to delightful periods of our past.
But this most sacred of spaces is also one of the dirtiest. A study conducted by the sanitation standards organization NSF International found that 36 percent of kitchen items tested contained some coliform bacteria, and 100 percent of the items harbored yeast and mold. Although bacteria are impossible to avoid altogether, many crevices and appliances common to kitchens were covered in particularly dangerous strains such as salmonella, E. Coli, and listeria.
Even the most inconspicuous of kitchen devices can house scary germs. Who would ever think that the salt and pepper shakers or refrigerator door handle could be a serious source of bacteria? Fortunately, once you identify the dirtiest places in your kitchen, you’ll be able to clean them with ease. All it takes is some disinfectant, hot water, clean paper towels, and a couple tablespoons of vinegar to disinfect almost any kitchen counter, appliance, or gadget.
Here are the 12 dirtiest places in your kitchen.