Why Your Kitchen Counter Is Dirtier Than Your Toilet Seat

According to Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, “it’s safer to make a salad on a toilet seat than it is to make one on a cutting board.

In a Food and Wine article, the noted doctor addresses the dangers lurking in your kitchen: “People disinfect their toilet seats all the time, but they don’t realize that they really need to pay attention in the kitchen too.

From salmonella to E.coli, dangerous bacteria contaminate most household sponges, sinks, cutting boards, dishcloths, countertops, and refrigerator shelves.

But where are they coming from? The answer is simple: meat.

Factory farms are filthy and crowded with animals who are often sick and covered in waste. These deplorable conditions are the cause of many foodborne illness outbreaks.

Most people associate salmonella with chicken. While around 25 percent of cut-up chicken meat and about 50 percent of ground chicken sold in stores is contaminated with salmonella, the bacteria is now commonly found in other varieties of meat.

According to the FDA, seafood imports from China—around 27 percent of the seafood consumed by Americans—are frequently contaminated. Additionally, salmonella cases involving pork and beef are on the rise. In fact, overall salmonella infection rates have risen 44 percent in just the last decade.

Salmonella sickens more than 1 million people each year and causes more hospitalizations and deaths than any other foodborne illness. Although you can get it any time of year, summertime is considered peak.

According to the USDA, summertime grilling and heat are the culprits. Meats prepared on grills at barbecues can be easily undercooked. Along with insufficiently cooked meats, the summer heat creates a thriving environment for bacteria.

You can protect your family and yourself from illness simply by leaving meat off the menu.

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