Busting Bacteria in the Kitchen

Even your sink drains can harbor nasty bugs

You follow every known safe food-handling tip. But what about cleaning up after you cook? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it's important to keep counters, drains and disposals free of bacteria.

For the kitchen drain and disposal, the FDA recommends pouring a solution of 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach in 1 quart of water down the sink. Or use a kitchen cleaning agent, following directions on the label. This will kill any bacteria that may grow on food trapped in the pipes.

For your counters, use a diluted bleach solution or a commercial counter cleanser to ward off bacteria that hot water and soap can't kill.

And don't forget to make sure sponges and dish towels are clean. They also can carry unfriendly bacteria and molds.

Consumer News