An expert reveals the two most common types of bacteria found on your kitchen sponge

You'd usually find one of them in the Bathroom...
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  • The bathroom often gets given a bad reputation for being germ-infested. However, the Kitchen is just as bad, if not worse. You will be shocked to hear what bacteria in the kitchen was found to be most common.

    Related: Expert reveals MOST important cleaning tasks to keep up after lockdown is lifted

    A study conducted by microbiologist Dr Hughes with Currys PC world revealed that the two most common pathogens found in the kitchen were P. aeruginosa, followed by Faecal Streptococci.

    Bacteria in the Kitchen

    P.aeruginosa is a pathogen usually found in social and vegetation and can cause skin irritation, abbesses and wounds. It was found in all the sinks and on the floors of all the kitchens that were tested. And it was also found of 88 per cent of sponges, countertops and fridge shelves.

    Image credit: David Parmiter

    This pathogen usually comes in on unwashed vegetables, so the best way to reduce it is to wash vegetables before putting them away. It is also important to regularly clean your fridge and sink.

    The second most common germ found in the kitchen is Faecal streptococci. With a name like that, this type of bacteria probably doesn’t need much introduction.

    It was found on 62 per cent of the sponges, sinks, floors, countertop and oven handles that were swapped. The pathogen is usually found in the intestines of humans and animals. Which means it is spread by not washing your hands properly after using the bathroom.’

    bacteria in kitchen 2

    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    It can lead to food poisoning and all the symptoms that come with it. So always remember to wash your hands with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds.

    Before you start to panic, in most kitchens the levels of bacteria are not high enough to lead to infection.

    ‘The surface levels of bacteria in a normal kitchen are usually well below the levels required for infection of healthy individuals and so are unlikely to lead to illness – unless coupled with a pre-existing health complaint, or if the person infected is immunocompromised,’ Dr Hughes explains.

    bacteria in kitchen 3

    Image credit: Chris Snook

    However, adopting a thorough cleaning routine using a disinfectant is still a good idea to get rid of pathogens.

    ‘Cleaning with hot soapy water after each use, combined with a weekly clean using a disinfectant such as a dilute bleach solution. This is sufficient to maintain a hygienic kitchen with very low bacteria levels,’ says Dr Hughes.

    Related: Are you making this common mistake when cleaning with bleach?

    You might also want to spare a thought for when was the last time you changed your kitchen sponge…

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