The microorganisms that cause E.coli, yeast, molds, Listeria, and Salmonella could very well be present in items in your kitchen.  Thankfully, usually the concentration of these germs is small and doesn't pose too much of an issue.  However, wouldn't you like to know where the highest levels of these germs usually occur in the kitchen? 

In other words, where are the 'germiest' places in your kitchen?

NSF International did a study in 2013 and came up with a list of 6 top offenders:

  1. Refrigerator vegetable compartment - a breeding ground for Salmonella, Listeria, yeast and mold.
  2. Refrigerator meat compartment - pretty much the same germs can flourish here as well.
  3. Blender gasket - that little rubber divider can harbor Salmonella, E.coli, yeast, and mold.
  4. Can opener - especially the electric ones since you just can't throw those into the dishwasher.  A major amount of microorganisms can exist on the cutting tool.
  5. Rubber spatula - Surprised?  Sure you can throw this into the dishwasher, but somehow germs can lodge into crevices and turn into a breeding ground.
  6. Food storage container with rubber seal - Salmonella, yeast and mold tend to be prevalent in studies with these.

Other items to be wary of include refrigerator water and ice dispensers as well as a knife block.

Some of these items can be relatively easy to clean, it just takes some elbow grease and a little extra time, however, other items like the knife block could require a few tricks.  Get the details of this study as well as some cleaning tips from the NSF International website.