TODAY   |  March 13, 2014

Where are the germiest places in your kitchen?

Courtenay Smith of Reader’s Digest and Dr. Donnica Moore join TODAY to reveal the places and tools in your kitchen where germs like to fester, including rubber spatulas and cutting boards.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> you take out of garbage, but how often do you actually clean out the can that that trash sits in?

>> never.

>> i never do it. here to reveal your unhealthy home habits and how we can fix them is courtney smith and dr. donna.

>> good morning.

>> these things are creepy but then we're empowered, right?

>> right.

>> i was so stunned about spatulas being dirty?

>> the rubber spatula is one of the top germiest places in your kitchen? the rubber tip often comes off from the handle and that manse there's nooks and crannies for food to get into.

>> we put this um on to see how many of our viewers clean the spatula.

>> how many?

>> i don't know. 64% do not clean the spatula.

>> do not clean it properly. she's talking about taking the two parts apart. these are for the spatulas that have a removable head. some people are lucky enough to have one that doesn't have a removable head. i don't want people to think i clean it, what are you talking about? that's for any kitchen gadgets that have parts, like a blender. that's because of dark, warm and moist trifecta, it's where they love to multiply.

>> take it apart, put it in the dishwasher or you can hand wash it in hot so and water and rinse.

>> cutting board . this is the item that makes me more paranoid in my home and i buy one all the time.

>> you are rightfully paranoid. there are 200 more times fecal matter on the cutting board than --

>> whoa!

>> we worry about the meat more but the number one germs that lead to food poisoning is actually produce.

>> and that's where the fecal matter is?

>> that's where the fecal matter is.

>> we'll be very scientific, we'll see e. coli and salmonella.

>> i'm never having another salad. thank you very much.

>> run it through the dishwasher.

>> even the wooden ones?

>> no, those you can soak in vinegar and water overnight.

>> and not scrubbing your trash can.

>> even with a plastic bag , there can be leakage. think about all the raw foods , egg shells festering there. you need to scrub it out regularly. use common sense. if you can't remember the last time you did it, it's time to do it.

>> does spraying lysol help?

>> you follow manufacture instructions and do it. or you can use half a cup of believe -- i'm sorry, with baking powder, fill it, let it soak for ten minutes and scrub it down the sides.

>> when you take out the trash bag , don't set it on the kitchen counter or on the kitchen floor or have it sit in the hallway for 24 hours while you're waiting for your husband to take it out. take it directly to the trash and don't touch anything. we're talking about 9.6 million cases per year in the united states , severe diarrhea, cramping, you could have a fever of 101. and it can be contagious.

>> 35% of our viewers on say they never cleans inside of their washing machine .

>> another place that can harbor fecal matter . every pair of underwear we wash has on average a tenth of a gram --

>> we got it, we got it, we got it.

>> you wrap this up, i got to get out of here.

>> i want to put myself in a plastic bag .

>> especially if you're washing clothes of someone who has had a virus or had pink eye or cold sores .

>> you want to run a cycle with bleach and then just run it again to thoroughly rinse it.

>> i'm itching now. but you know what, knowledge is power . i always tell myself that, even when it's hard to hear. thank you so much. and i'll be waiting for my husband to take the