How residues from a spill that hasn’t been completely cleaned up can harbor pathogens

How residues from a spill that hasn’t been completely cleaned up can harbor pathogens

There’s no use crying over spilled milk — except, perhaps, when you consider the potential risk of pathogens that a milk spill may constitute.

Picture this: You’re running late for work. You’re adding cream to your coffee. You spill a drop or two. You frown, hastily mop up most of the spill with a nearby cloth and jump in your car. The spill is forgotten. You’ve taken care of it; you’ve moved on.

Let’s zoom in on that spill. You accidentally left a few droplets behind. Over time, the water will evaporate from the spill, leaving behind a crust that is both gross and potentially dangerous.

Completely Cleaning Up Even Tiny Spills Is Key. Here’s Why 

Unfortunately, your naked eye isn’t capable of detecting problematic levels of pathogens in your living areas.

A (Seemingly) Clean Counter Can Harbor Lots of Dangerous Bacteria 

One team of researchers recently performed a series of experiments to see just how dirty apparently clean countertops are. Trond Møretrø, one of the principal investigators, summed up their findings succinctly: “Many bacteria can be present on surfaces that look clean.”

During their study, the researchers spilled several types of foods and liquids (including poultry, lettuce and eggs; selected due to potential levels of Salmonella on kitchen countertops in varying concentrations and amounts. They then asked trial participants to “visually detect concentrations of spillages that may contain enough dangerous bacteria to make them ill.” Less than half of the participants could.

What does this mean? We can’t depend upon visual evidence of problematic food residue to keep our kitchens safe.

Tiny Amounts of Food Can Spoil, Too

As it turns out, potentially harmful pathogens don’t require a huge host to spread and fester.

According to a 2020 study in Food Science and Biotechnology, even residual amounts of mostly cleaned-up-foods “can facilitate bacterial attachment and persistence by protective films.” This study sought to determine just how long five different types of food-borne pathogens could survive on nearly-invisible food residue. After experiments with food materials, including soy milk, eggs and rice, the team found that levels of assessed pathogens were higher even on surfaces with very low levels of residue. Moreover, when the team assessed pathogen levels over time, even low levels of residue constituted enough of a nurturing environment for pathogens to grow. (The pathogen that grew the most, even in that bare-bones environment? E.coli.)

Even Small Amounts of Cross-Contamination May Matter

Let’s think about that spill on your kitchen countertop again. Here’s a fundamental truth: Whatever you do in your kitchen, you do on a countertop. Even on days that you don’t cook, you’re likely going to be touching your kitchen countertop several times. On days you do cook, many things come into contact with your (hopefully) clean counters — including utensils, cutting boards, plates and produce. If your counters harbor invisible colonies of opportunistic bacteria, you’re introducing the possibility for cross-contamination with each contact.

Cleaning, Disinfecting and Applying an Antimicrobial Coating: Your Invisible Spill Protection Plan

If you’re interested in making sure that your kitchen is germ-free, you need to clean thoroughly on a regular basis. Then, you’re going to need a long-term solution to prevent future germ growth in your cleaning arsenal. To give yourself the best possible chance of anti-pathogenic safety in your common living spaces despite the spills that come with everyday life, pick up a multi-action product that’s been tested to kill germs within a matter of minutes. A great antimicrobial agent can also help keep your counters germ- and virus-free for weeks, giving you the peace of mind you crave in the safety of your home.

Keep Pathogens at Bay with a Time-Tested Spill-Solving Solution

Having smart products on standby to keep your kitchen spotless is our go-to strategy. This spring, concentrate on stocking your shelves with effective cleaners that remove contaminants from your environment instead of simply moving them around. We recommend the MicroGold® Multi-Action Disinfectant Antimicrobial that targets viruses and bacteria. This not only kicks germs and pathogens out of your kitchen; it makes it more difficult for them to come back.

To see all the MicroGold® products and what they can do for you, please visit our website today.


More Posts