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6 Kitchen Items That Might Be Making You Sick

Swap These 6 Kitchen Items for Good

By: Elizabeth Lowry

Ah, breakfast time. Your favorite time of the day. After you stumble down the steps, rub the sleep from your eyes and turn on the coffee pot, you open the fridge to consider what to make for your first (and arguably most important) meal of the day. You grab the carton of eggs and set them on the counter, only to realize you never cleaned your omelet pan from yesterday's breakfast.

You set about washing the pan, grabbing the kitchen sponge that's been living in the sink for weeks, squeeze out a dollop of antibacterial soap and get to scrubbing. There are some spots where the non-stick coating is coming off, but you ignore those places, grab a towel and dry the pan. A few sprays of non-stick cooking spray and a couple eggs later, you're well on your way to a wholesome, nutritious breakfast, right?

Not so fast. In the eight minutes it took you to clean your pan and cook your eggs, you may have used several seemingly harmless kitchen items that could turn that healthy breakfast into a not-so-healthy meal. But what are they and are there products that would make smarter swaps for these common household items? Rest assured, we have your back. With just a few simple changes, you can take your kitchen from sketchy to safe.

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According to a study published by Scientific Reports, researchers examined the bacterial biome of 14 varieties of common household kitchen sponges from private households in a town in Germany. The results were staggering: Hundreds of different types of bacteria were present on the sponges—even those thought to have been "cleaned."

Although you could microwave, boil or bleach your (metal-free) sponges to clean them, these methods may not remove all the bacteria and, in some cases, could allow the worst of it to multiply. If you can't remember to (or don't want to) change your sponge weekly, a better option would be to use a new, clean and dry dish cloth every day and launder the soiled ones.

Ritz 100% Cotton Kitchen Dish Towel Available at Amazon ($21.43)
Photo courtesy of Amazon.