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Uncovering the Millions of Bacteria in Your Fridge Linked to Miscarriage and Respiratory Infections


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More than 1.8 million bacteria lurk in the refrigerator, experts report, and they have been linked to respiratory and urinary tract infections, food poisoning and miscarriages in pregnant women.

The dirtiest places in the refrigerator are drawers for vegetables and meat, as well as shelves where dairy products are stored.

Most bacteria living in refrigerators develop from unwashed vegetables or cross-contamination, which is why experts recommend covering all foods before putting them inside.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes that leftovers should be placed in airtight containers to avoid bacterial growth and placed on the top shelves of the refrigerator.

The Ministry warns against storing eggs at the door and recommends storing them in a box and on a shelf.

The refrigerator may be one of the places that people often neglect to clean, but it actually contains bacteria that lead to disease.

Previous research has shown that more than 1,200 bacteria live on every square centimeter of a refrigerator.

There are two different families of microbes in your refrigerator: pathogenic bacteria and spoilage bacteria.

Pathogenic bacteria thrive in the “danger zone” between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This group causes foodborne illness but does not usually affect the taste, smell, or appearance of food.

Spoilage bacteria can grow at lower temperatures and are found when food spoils.

Listeria is a pathogenic bacterium that mainly affects pregnant women, children and the elderly.

In pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, and severe illness or death in newborns.

Symptoms of infection include fever, stiff neck, confusion, weakness, and vomiting, sometimes preceded by diarrhea.

The incubation period can range from 3 to 70 days, and the disease can last for several days or weeks, depending on the individual’s health, before the disease stabilizes.

Listeria can live on cool surfaces and reproduce slowly at 24 degrees Fahrenheit.

These deadly bacteria can be found everywhere in the refrigerator, especially in meat and dairy storage areas.

A 2019 study in which scientists took five swabs from different locations in 10 refrigerators found that 19 out of 50 samples contained Aeromonas, Enterobacter cloacae and Klebsiella oxytoca.

Aeromonas bacteria are associated with gastrointestinal infections that result in watery diarrhea and dysentery or bloody diarrhea.

Enterobacteriaceae can cause bone and heart infections, while Klebsiella oxytoca causes severe infection leading to septic shock.

However, the refrigerator is not the only playground for germs: they thrive on kitchen surfaces, sponges and rags, and more than 500,000 bacteria live in the sewer.

Source: Daily Mail

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