You might think of food poisoning as something you get from a dodgy restaurant or when you eat abroad, but research shows that you're actually just as likely to end up with a sore tummy from germs in your own home.
In fact, while you wouldn't prepare your meals in the bathroom, studies have shown that the average chopping board in fact carries 200 per cent more dirty bacteria than the average toilet seat! And that's not to mention the state of our dishcloths, six out of ten of which are heavily contamined with harmful E.coli.
But with a little bit of effort and a touch of elbow grease, it's easy to get rid of the nasties lurking in your home, reducing your risk of getting a sickly stomach. Find out how to smarten up the act of these common harbours of germs in your home:
Hands – The mitts of 11 per cent of us are apparently so “grossly contaminated”, they are carrying as many germs as a dirty toilet bowl. To see of the dirty, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after you handle food using an anti-bacterial hand wash.
Surfaces – Almost half of everything we touch regularly could be contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria, especially your kitchen surfaces. To kill off the bacteria, spray all your kitchen areas, including taps, worktops and the fridge with Dettol Anti-bacterial Surface Cleanser Spray.
Sinks – Research has found that the average kitchen sink contains 100,000 times more bacteria than the bathroom, so regularly apply a liquid disinfectant and leave overnight.
Dishcloths –How often do you put yours through the wash? Apparently 85 per cent of us Brits forget to regularly wash our dishcloths at temperatures high enough to kill germs. Consider chucking yours in the bin and using disposable anti-bacterial wipes to clean surfaces instead.
The fridge –This is an area that most likely needs a thorough clean, but around 46 per cent of Brits in fact only clean theirs once a month or less. Cross-contamimation of your foods is pretty likely to make you unwell so prevent this by placing your meats on a separate shelf to the other products in your fridge and anywhere apart from the top shelf.
Chopping boards – “Although ideally it's best to have separate boards for raw and ready-to-eat foods, in a busy household this isn't always manageable” says Home Hygiene Expert, Dr Lisa Ackerley. “So just make sure that any board you use for raw meat, poultry, fish or vegetables is cleaned straight away and disinfected using an anti-bacterial product after you've finished using it”.
- There's more health advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.