Your salad drawer may not be as healthy as you think

The contents of your fridge might look appetising but beware of the 8,000 bacteria covering every square centimetre of the salad drawer

It might be full of healthy snacks and vegies but the average fridge salad drawer is also home to up to 750 times the level of bacteria considered to be safe.

Researchers took samples from the salad drawers of 30 frost-free home fridges and found an average of 7,850 bacteria colony-forming units per square centimetre. These included E.coli, salmonella and listeria.

‘The whole purpose of a fridge is to keep food safe and minimise the chances of bacteria and mould growth so it is worrying that in some there is clearly a substantial problem,’ says Paul McDonnell of antimicrobial company Microban Europe, which conducted the research.

‘The performance of fridges is especially important in warmer weather. When bacteria get a foothold and no cleaning is taking place, they will tend to multiply over a period of time.’

Mr McDonnell says some fridge owners regularly clear out the contents of their fridge and wipe down the interior but others fail to do so, leading to a dangerous amount of bacteria residing with your food.

Microban Europe says the anecdotal feedback from the study suggests attitudes to fridge cleanliness varies and warns against the dangers of bacteria which can settle on surfaces within 24hours.

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