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Germs at Your Fingertips

It is party season and did you know your kitchen sponge is the hostess of the most-est. Yep, the average kitchen sponge can play host to upwards of 7 billion bacteria. Yikes!

Most of the bacteria comes from surprise - food left on dirty dishes, especially raw foods like meat, poultry and veggies.

Sponges that were tested after 3 weeks of use were found to contain fecal bacteria. That's because some people go to the bathroom and don't wash their hands. Gross. Or people use the same sponge to scrub behind the toilet that they use to wash their dishes. That's beyond gross.

Want to know what you can do to make your sponge a less hospitable home for bacteria?

  • Clean the sponge with soap and hot water after using it.
  • Get rid of any visible food left on the sponge.
  • Wring out the sponge as much as you can to get any extra water out. Store it in a place where it can dry out.
  • Keep it away from the cutting board. You don't want the sponge you use to clean your dishes coming in contact with any juices from raw meats. Reach for a paper towel and some disinfectant instead.
  • Some sponges today are designed to resist germs. Look for a sponge that says "resists bacterial odors" on the label.

Fit's Tips: If your sponge stinks - that means bacteria's growing. But just because it doesn't smell bad, doesn't mean bacteria isn't growing. A good rule of thumb? Replace your kitchen sponge once a week.

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