Learn the risks and consequences of food poisoning in the fun new web series, Recipes for Disaster a€“ a fictional cooking show where the host, Maria, unintentionally makes common food safety mistakes when preparing her dishes.Recent high-profile outbreaks keep food safety fresh in our minds.
That’s why we asked cleaning pros Leslie Reichert, Bob Vila, Donna Smallin Kuper, and Nicole Kern to fill us in on the fine points of cleaning.
Despite the manufacturer’s recommendations to clean blades weekly and splash guards once a month, most of us probably never clean the garbage disposal. With the washer set to the highest level and on the hottest setting, add four cups of white cleaning vinegar (6 percent acid) to the wash cycle. The rubber gasket at the front of front-loading washers, especially high-efficiency washers, accumulates water, hair, mildew, and scum. It takes an organizing and cleaning expert like Kuper to share this bright idea: Clean your light bulbs. Clean the vent cover either by vacuuming with a brush attachment or wiping with a microfiber extendible duster.
Before reinstalling vent covers, wipe with a microfiber cloth to make sure they are completely dry to keep dust particles from clinging to the damp vent slats. The grease-catching filters in your stove’s vent hood not only go unnoticed, they also go uncleaned. While the filter’s soaking, wipe down the rest of the vent hood (including the plastic fan blades) with a sponge dampened in the same cleaning mixture.
Microfiber upholstery can really take a licking, but that doesn’t mean it never needs to be cleaned. By all means, advises Vila, America’s favorite handyman, vacuum your microfiber-upholstered furniture at least once every week or two. Blot the stained area with a clean cloth lightly moistened with a solution of cold water and a few drops of gentle laundry soap.
Loosen dirty residue with a soft-bristle brush, then vacuum thoroughly using a brush attachment. Foodborne illness, sometimes called food poisoning, is a common, costlya€”yet preventablea€”public health problem. Read on as they point out six often-neglected chores and tell us how to get the job done right.

It naturally collects random particles of food that breed odor-causing germs in its dark, moist underside. According to Kern, a fabric care senior researcher at Procter & Gamble, laundry soils, detergents, and hard-water minerals build up in the washer in areas you can’t see. Hint: Leave the lid or door open when the washer’s not in use to help prevent mold and mildew. Kuper suggests simply passing a lint roller over a fabric shade, or using a paint brush to whisk away dust in a pleated shade.
For easy-to-reach vents, you can also wipe the cover with a dry microfiber cloth or a slightly damp Mr. Despite their grease-encrusted appearance, they are really not hard to tackle, especially if you clean them on a regular basis. Use a brush attachment and light pressure (too much pressure may force dirt into the fabric), he says. If the furniture has an odor, add a half teaspoon of distilled white vinegar or baking soda to the solution.
The first option: Blot a dry-cleaning solvent specifically made for Code S microfiber onto the stain.
Each year, about 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. The oil in the citrus peels is the real workhorse here and it leaves behind a fresh fragrance as a bonus.” Don’t have citrus peels?
To banish that goo, you’ll need rubber gloves, an old toothbrush and some hot, soapy water. Meanwhile, wipe down the top of the washer with a microfiber cloth dipped in the hot vinegar water. To clean the gasket, spray it with white vinegar and wipe clean with a damp microfiber cloth. Just make sure the bulbs are cool first, then wipe the glass portion with a slightly dampened microfiber cloth.
Unscrew smaller vent covers and wash in a sink using a microfiber cloth and hot, soapy water.

Place the filter in an empty sink and rub it with a half-cup of alcohol and a quarter-cup of baking soda. If brushing and vacuuming don’t do the trick, contact the sofa’s manufacturer for further instructions.
Forgetting about food safety is a recipe for disaster.The Food Safe Families Campaign Toolkit gives you free access to public service ads and tips.
To treat these odors easily, Kern recommends using a commercial oxygenated cleaner, like Tide Washing Machine Cleaner, once a week for three consecutive weeks. Allow it to sit according to the manufacturer’s directions, and then vacuum thoroughly. It introduces Maria and her passion for cookinga€”though not always with best practices in mind. Watch the Recipes for Disaster video and learn the right steps as Maria does everything wrong. See all of the ads here.Not Just Consumers View larger version of diagramIt is important to know that food safety does not solely rest with consumers. Symptoms of food poisoning can be as commonplace as diarrhea or as life-threatening as organ failure.These illnesses can even cause long-term health problems or death.
Germs can survive in many places around your kitchen, including your hands, utensils, and cutting boards.Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water and follow the rules of food safety and Watch the CLEAN video!SEPARATEDon't cross-contaminate. Even after youa€™ve cleaned your hands and surfaces thoroughly, raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can still spread germs to ready-to-eat foodsa€”unless you keep them separate.Watch the SEPARATE video!COOKCook to the right temperature . While many people think they can tell when food is "done" simply by checking its color and texture, therea€™s no way to be sure ita€™s safe without following a few important but simple steps.

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