I must admit, it wasn’t until recently that it dawned on me that my sponge, whilst an excellent tool for cleaning up spills, washing dishes and wiping down counter tops, can also be a huge carrier of food borne pathogens which could ultimately lead to food poisoning. But what are you to do? It’s not like we can throw it away after every use.
Below are some tips to help keep your sponge “healthier”:-
Sanitize Your Sponge – to lower the risk of cross-contamination sanitize your sponge daily. Researchers at the USDA fount that over 99 percent of bacteria, yeasts and molds were killed by microwave heating damp sponges for one minute or dishwashing with a drying cycle.
Replace Frequently – sanitizing your sponge will ultimately protect you short term, however, that doesn’t mean you can keep the same sponge for months on end. Consider replacing it regularly and if it starts to smell at any point you should throw it out immediately.
Store in a Dry Location – store your sponge in a dry location. Letting your sponge lay wet on a countertop takes longer for it to dry and allows harmful bacteria to multiply quickly. Ensure also that it is not left in an enclosed area such as bucket.
Avoid Certain Spills – using your sponge to wipe up meat juices can increase your chances of food poisoning. Instead, use a paper towel or disinfectant wipes to clean up spills and other bacteria-loaded messes.
Do Not CleanCountertops – to avoid spreading germs and bacteria from your sponge to countertops use a paper towel or disinfectant wipe.