Thursday, January 21, 2010

Killers in the kitchen?

An article in the Daily Mail highlights the real dangers to health present in the average kitchen. It makes sobering reading. Here's an extract.

Scientists at Exeter University claimed this week that non-stick frying pans could be bad for your health. A chemical used for their heat-resistant and stain-repelling properties was linked in research to a higher-than-normal incidence of thyroid disease. Here, our Science Editor MICHAEL HANLON warns of all those other hidden dangers lurking in your kitchen.


Damp dishcloths and sponges, left to fester for weeks on end, may contain several tens of thousands of individual micro-organisms per square inch.

In fact, a dirty damp dishcloth probably contains the highest concentration of pathogens anywhere in the house - including the inside of your toilet.

Wiping your surfaces with one of these feculent horrors will convert a clean and wholesome surface into something reminiscent of a Third World sewer.


It is a rule everyone should know: Cooked flesh can be reheated - but only once.

If you make a casserole, by all means warm it up the next day but if there are leftovers from THAT warmed-up portion they cannot be reheated again.

Similarly, never, ever, re-freeze melted ice cream. When it melts and warms, ice cream provides an ideal breeding ground for various nasties including salmonella and listeria.

In fact, ALL frozen food, once thawed, should be cooked and eaten and never put back in the freezer.


An EU report produced in 2009 claimed young children are being exposed to potentially dangerous levels of hormone disrupting chemicals which can affect levels of certain vital body chemicals, particularly in boys.

'Oestrogen-like' chemicals, such as pthalates found in many common plastics, containers and packaging materials, Bisphenol-A (found in food packaging plastics and coating the inside of 'tin' cans) and the (now banned) PCBs still lurking in paints and electrical equipment have been blamed by environmental groups such as the WWF and Greenpeace for cancers, falling sperm counts and even an imbalance in the sex-ratio between baby boys and girls.

. . .


Several hundred people a year worldwide are killed by their toasters, compared to eight or nine by sharks.

Toasters are potentially deadly because they contain exposed live electric elements and the way they work invites one of the commonest causes of serious home accidents - electric shocks caused when using a metal knife to prize out a slice of stuck toast.


Some American studies have drawn a link between chemicals found in certain plastic food wraps and storage containers and hormonal abnormalities, and even cancer.

One study, in the early 1990s, suggested that food wrapped in Clingfilm could become contaminated with chemicals such as pthalates and a substance called DEHA if heated in a microwave - both substances are linked to increased cancer risk.

But these studies were controversial (other scientists found no contamination risk).

To be on the safe side, use glass containers or old-fashioned greaseproof paper and avoid plastic altogether.

There's more at the link. Very highly recommended reading.



karrde said...

I thought that everyone knew the first thing about toasters.

If you need to stick a knife in there, unplug the toaster from the wall first!

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing that enough people survived these deadly threats - prior to their discovery by politicians - to ensure the survival of the human race...