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The Dirtiest Places in Your Kitchen

By Sara Butler

How often do you clean your kitchen? Probably pretty often and you make sure to clean the hot spots too, such as the kitchen sink where germs like to breed and the stinky microwave. It's smart to clean your kitchen regularly, especially when you consider that about 20 percent of all foodborne illness happens at home. But there may be some important areas of your kitchen you're neglecting to clean on the regular -- and these places also happen to be the dirtiest places in your kitchen.

The Blender Gasket

Your morning smoothie routine is bangin', but that blender may not be. The rubber ring around the base of your blender, also called the blender gasket, can get really dirty because it's simply not cleaned very often. It can have E. coli, mold, and salmonella on it, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Don't sweat it because you can keep your blender clean and satisfy your smoothie splurges easily. All you need to do is unplug the blender and then take all the pieces apart. Either soak them in hot, soapy water and then clean or run them through your dishwasher after each use.

The Vegetable Drawer

A vegetable drawer is a place that makes all your nutritious dreams come true, but those dreams can turn into nightmares if you're not careful. This drawer happens to be an ideal place for yeast, mold, listeria, and salmonella to grow. If you have children under the age of 5, any breastfeeding or pregnant women in the home, or other people with weak immune systems, then listeria is a big concern.

To clean this drawer, take it completely out of your refrigerator and remove everything inside. Wash it with a mild detergent and warm water, then rinse it again with tap water to make sure you get all the residue. Turn it upside down to drain and air dry. If it still smells a little funky, then mix about two tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of water and use that to clean it, then rinse and dry.

Rubber Spatulas

Your rubber spatula is a useful kitchen tool, but it also happens to be the second dirtiest place in the kitchen behind the sink. Most people don't properly clean their spatulas, which results in the possible growth of E. coli, mold, and yeast.

To clean your spatula right, run it through the dishwasher every time you use it. If that's not possible, wash it by hand with soap and hot water, making sure to get between the spatula head and the handle, since that's where most germs like to hang out.

It's important to know where the germs are really lurking in your kitchen so you can keep you and your family healthy!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.

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