Do you know how often you should really change your kitchen sponge?
They spend most of their days wet and humid, housing the organic remains that they have cleaned from cutlery, dishes and glasses. What better home for bacteria than a kitchen sponge?
That was the thinking of the Institute of Applied Microbiology at Justus Liebeg University in Giessen, Germany, when they began sequencing the DNA of microorganisms present in kitchen sponges, finding that they "harbor a much larger diversity of bacteria" than expected, among them Moraxella osloensis, which may well be causing infections and illnesses if your immune system is a little weak.
The most worrying thing is that washing them with soap and water will kill the most harmless bacteria, while the most harmful ones will survive, reproduce and colonize abandoned areas, even inhabiting sponges in the same density that feces inhabit.
Unfortunately, the solution recommended by the experts, which involves immersing the sponges in a mixture of nine parts of water and one of bleach after each wash, is not very practical.
According to Philip Tierno, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Pathology at Langone Medical Center at New York University, the only other solution we have is to "replace them frequently, for example, every week."
What about you? How often do you change your sponges?
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Chef Tips and Tricks
These quick and easy chicken quesadillas are the perfect, last-minute family dinner!
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup of chives, chopped
- 1 tsp. of Mexican spice mix
- 4 Tortillas
- Salt, to taste
- Put shredded chicken breast, tomato sauce, chives, and mexican spice mix in a bowl and mix together.
- Lay out the tortillas. Place a slice of cheddar in the center, and cover with the chicken mix.
- Fold up tortillas, and heat in a frying pan until golden.