September 21, 2017

Food allergy and sponges

This morning I was reading the news online and an article about kitchen sponges carrying bacteria caught my attention.  Apparently a research study was done that described a significant amount of bacteria in an average kitchen sponge.  There was a debate about how to clean a sponge, how long to keep them, to microwave or not, etc.

Last year when my daughter came to visit I made sure all of the plates and utensils were washed in the dishwasher.  On the day of her visit I took all of the spoons, knives and forks out of the kitchen drawer and washed them again.  I moved the peanut butter jar out of the cupboard and into the basement.  I removed the almonds from the shelf.  I put out a clean dish towel.  All was ready.

An hour into her visit, she began to feel a familiar sense - lips swelling and a rash on her hand.  She asked what everyone had eaten or touched that morning.  No one had eaten peanuts or nuts.  The kitchen was scrubbed and clean.  She asked “what about the sponge?”.

For people without food allergies, it difficult to imagine what it’s like to live a life always looking over your shoulder to the next meal, the next kitchen, the next ingredients list on a wrapped snack, the next sponge.   These days when my daughter comes to visit, the old sponges are gone. I break out a new one when she walks through the door.  

Tags: Allergies · Consumer Product Safety · Food Allergies · Kitchen Safety