A 2013 germ study conducted by NSF International found that many kitchen items frequently used to prepare foods, including can openers and spatulas, harbored potentially dangerous germs including Salmonella as well as yeast and mold, when can be of special concern to people with allergies.

Choosing Kitchen Utensils

Product design and construction can significantly affect the safety and cleanability of utensils and other food preparation items. Whether you are looking to purchase a can opener, thermometer, cutting board or other kitchen product, it’s important to read labels and to shop carefully for products that have been tested and verified to meet independent health and safety standards.

One way that you can do this is by looking for kitchen products that are certified to NSF Protocol P400:  Food Contact Utensils for Home Use. This certification helps ensure that can openers, spatulas and other kitchen utensils meet strict standards for product design, construction, materials and cleanability. As part of the NSF Home Products Certification Program, NSF also reviews product packaging and substantiates label claims made by the manufacturer. Products certified to this protocol are eligible to display the NSF Certified for Home Use mark.

Cleaning of Kitchen Products and Utensils

Check your owner’s manual for recommended cleaning instructions for each kitchen product or utensil. If dishwasher safe, place the item on the appropriate rack in the dishwasher as indicated in the manual and wash after each use. If not, hand wash food contact surfaces in warm soapy water, rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel after each use. 

Any kitchen tools like spatulas that are made up of two more pieces should be carefully taken apart and cleaned thoroughly and dried, as germs and food residue can easily hide in joints and grooves.