Most Home Kitchens Unlikely To Pass Sanitation Inspection
Posted February 5, 2002 1:18 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — Each week, WRAL's Five on Your Side provides
from North Carolina restaurants so the public can know the condition of the kitchens where food is prepared. But what if an inspector came into your home?
A new study finds that most home kitchens would fail a sanitation inspection.
According to the study conducted by Audits International, 74 percent of inspected household kitchens critically violated the
FDA's Food Safety Code
. The major culprits were sponges and dishcloths used to clean countertops, sinks and utensils.
Researchers at the University of Arizona tested sponges and dishcloths from 1,000 kitchens in five major U.S cities.
In some cities, one out of five sponges had salmonella. At least two-thirds of the sponges tested contained some form of bacteria that could make a person very ill. The bacteria included salmonella, E. coli, and staphylococcus.
The bacteria findings led the researchers to conclude that "some kitchen sinks harbored more harmful bacteria than flushed toilets."
To add to the problem, researchers pointed out that meticulous kitchen cleaners may be making the bacterial problem worse by spreading germs around through constant cleaning with the same sponges or dishcloths.
There are ways to prevent the spread of bacteria: