Kitchen Safety 101

Kitchen Safety 101  Garden State Bariatrics & Wellness Center


Recently an organization named NSF international checked houses in Michigan for bacterial contamination.  They asked families to swab items throughout the house, cell phones, toilet seats, ipads, different parts of the kitchen etc.

They were looking for yeast and mold, coliform and staphylococcus bacteria (both of which can cause vomiting and diarrhea).  Given the title of this newsletter I'll give you one guess where they found the most contamination…that is right it wasn't the bathroom it was the kitchen!!…if you are like me the first thing you probably thought was yikes!

Don't worry though, there are some relatively simple things you can do to dramatically reduce your chances of ever getting sick …

Holiday Party, December 5th!!

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Before I continue on about "Kitchen Safety" however I did want to remind everyone about the Holiday Party. The Holiday Party this year will be held on December 5th from 6 to 10 pm.  Any of you who are "regulars" of our Holiday Party know that the tradition is too hold it on the first Monday in December and we are staying true to that tradition this year as well!

We will be having it at "The Venetian" in Garfield, NJ.  If you went to last years party then you already know the place, if not, the above picture is of the Venetian, to give you an idea of what it is like, it is impressive!  If you would like to see more photos of the place you can go their website at:

The party is free to all of my patients, and their guests.  I simply request that you let us know if you are coming and how many guests you are bringing by emailing us at:  If you can please RSVP by Monday November 21st so we can give the Venetian a head count.

As usual we will have a photographer taking pictures (so dress your best!), a DJ, dancing, door prizes and some surprises as well!!  Looking forward to seeing everyone on December 5th!
The Venetian's phone number 973 546 2250.  Their address is:

546 River Rd, Garfield, NJ 07026
Driving directions can be found on their website.


Kitchen Safety 101

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Now, back to our "regularly scheduled" program.  What do you think is one of the dirtiest things in a kitchen and also one of the most difficult to keep clean…if you guessed sponges you would be correct!! If you think about it, it actually makes sense….sponges are moist, have lots of nooks and crannies for bacteria to hide in and come in contact with food residue which can feed bacteria.

Fortunately the solution is relatively simple…microwave it for 30 to 60 seconds before you use it (make sure it is wet and has no metal in it). This will kill a significant portion of the bacteria.  The other thing you can do is run it through your dishwasher.  Some things that DON'T work are soaking in bleach or lemon juice.

In the NSF survey I mentioned, about about 1/3 of kitchen countertops were contaminated with bacteria.  Now, why would that be?  Well, what do you wipe down your countertop with?  That's right, the bacteria infested sponge you forgot to microwave!!

So, once  you've disinfected your sponge (and washed your hands, don't forget that!) simple soap and water is enough to clean your countertop  for normal healthy people.  If you have very old, very young or someone with a compromised immune system in your house the you may need to use a disinfectant.  Good news is there is no need to buy anything fancy.  One teaspoon of unscented bleach in one gallon of water will work just fine.  Just flood your countertop with it and let it air dry or pat it dry with a paper towel after several minutes.

Next time we'll talk about sinks and cutting boards, until then I wanted to leave you with a funny video….
Funny Video

They say laughter is the best medicine…with that in mind I wanted to share this video.  First let me warn you, it is actually a commercial for Carlsburg beer, but don't worry it is still pretty funny.

Let me set the stage for you, imagine you and  your date walk into a theater that has 150 seats and 148 of them are occupied by scary looking, and heavily tattooed bikers and the only two seats left require you to climb into the middle of the group of scary looking bikers…..what would you and your date do?? Clink on this link to find out how these couples handled it:
In Good Health,

Michael Bilof, MD
Garden State Bariatrics & Wellness Center

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