A refrigerator is an essential appliance for every kitchen. It protects our food and keeps it cool so we’re able to keep it for longer. The cool temperature causes the growth of bacteria on food to slow down. Yet there are a couple of dangers concerning our health when it comes to this appliance.
There are more bacteria inside a seemingly clean fridge than you’d expect.
Think about all the food we put in and take out of our fridges on a daily basis. We open and shut the refrigerator multiple times a day. These moments offer bacteria countless time windows to get into your fridge and settle in a nice spot. There are some spots in your refrigerator that are by far the grossest and these are the spots we often forget to clean too. The most obvious one is, of course, the handle of the fridge. It gets touched multiple times a day, by possibly dirty hands, meaning there are a ton of bacteria on there. But this isn’t even the grossest part of the fridge…
The grossest part of a fridge is actually quite surprising. NFS International is an organisation that focuses on developing public health standards and certifications so as to protect human health. They also inform people about hygiene and sanitary provisions. According to this organisation, the vegetable drawer is the grossest part of your fridge. This might come as a surprise since vegetables do seem rather innocent. Sure, you have to wash them before using them, but it’s not as obviously unhygienic as storing raw chicken, for example.
Salmonella and Listeria
The tests of the NSF research show that there were multiple types of bacteria in the vegetable drawer, like salmonella and listeria, as well as yeast and mould. The problem isn’t the vegetables themselves, but the fact that they can be contaminated by other items, like meat juices, in a shopping cart, grocery bag or other forms of transport. Many of us usually remember to make sure we store raw meat properly sealed and covered. So why don’t we do that with our vegetables? We carelessly put them in the vegetable drawer, without any protection.
Luckily, it’s relatively simple to clean the vegetable drawer. Take the drawer out of the fridge, remove any loose scraps and then wash the drawer in the sink with hot water and dish soap. Let it air dry or dab it dry with paper towels before putting it back in the fridge. Make a habit out of doing this once every month.
When was the last time you properly cleaned the vegetable drawer of your fridge?
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Source: The Kitchn | Image: Max Pixel