Food Safety

The One Kitchen Thing That Grosses Microbiologists Out — Cleaning Tips from Kitchn

There's more than one reason your kitchen is even grosser than your bathroom: You clean it less often; you keep it warm, moist, and full of organic matter; and you drop food stuffs on nearly every surface. As for the worst offender? Well, that just might be the object you use the most: your sponge.

"A sponge is bacteria heaven!" says Dr. Chuck Gerba, a professor of microbiology for University of Arizona. "It's wet, dark, and constantly sucking up food." Plus, we use it to wipe up anything from meat juice to milk spills to grease spots, so there's all sort of food for dangerous organisms like salmonella and E. coli to feed on.

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Here’s Why You Should Never, Ever Leave A Plastic Water Bottle In Your Car — Food News

If you're guilty of leaving water bottles in your car, whether it be clutter or a backup source of hydration, then it's time to quit the habit. Firefighters are warning drivers about the hazard that clear water bottles pose.

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5 Easy Steps to Keep Your Lunch Box Clean Throughout the Week — Lunch Box Bootcamp

Whether you're packing lunch for your kid or you bring your lunch to work every day, you probably aren't washing your lunch box often enough. It's easy to just think of it as a vessel — like a purse or backpack that you've probably never, ever washed. But it comes into contact with food and moisture just about every day, which means it's teeming with bacteria.

Instead of ignoring your lunch box and letting it fester away, take these little steps to keep your lunch box clean throughout the week.

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The Best Way to Sanitize Your Kitchen Sponge Is Not What You Think — Food News

Kitchen sponges are notorious for being bacteria-ridden. By some estimates, they are dirtier than toilet seats. Strains of germs range from campylobacter, salmonella, and staphylococcus to E. coli and listeria.

Yuck.

"That thing is very dirty," Philip Tierno, a microbiologist and pathologist at the New York University School of Medicine, tells Tech Insider. "Mainly because you're cleaning up vegetables, carcasses of meat, and all sorts of food stuff that can potentially contain pathogenic [disease-causing] bacteria that will grow in numbers over time."

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5 Things to Know About Freezer Burn — Freezer Intelligence

Have you ever opened up your freezer to find that your once red beef is looking a little brown? Or taken a pint of ice cream out only to discover the top is covered in ice crystals? Freezer burn happens to the best of us. Here's what you should know.

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7 Signs Something Has Gone Bad in the Freezer — Freezer Intelligence

The freezer can be a lifesaver — the perfect place for leftovers you can't finish any time soon, in-a-pinch meals for the family, and sweet treats for hot summer days. And according to the USDA, food kept consistently at 0°F will always be safe — it's just the quality of the food that will suffer (read: It will be OK to eat, but it might not necessarily have the taste or texture you like).

That being said, not everyone's freezer is 100 percent consistent, and the temperature can fluctuate if you're opening the door a lot, or if you live in an area that frequently loses power. Here are some signs that something might have gone bad. (Note: None of them involve tasting something to find out!)

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