8 Things to Never Keep on Kitchen Countertops (and Why)

Raw meat on countertops can cross-contaminate other dishes. Meat can easily spread salmonella and E. coli, contaminating other foods. Our tutorials explain how to securely store and defrost raw meat.

Vitamins, supplements, and OTC medications should be stored in a cold, dry area to stay effective. Countertops near stoves or sinks can be too damp or fluctuate in temperature, affecting medicine efficacy.

Think twice about throwing everything on the countertop when you get home. Phones, keys, currency, and even the mail can bring germs into your kitchen and other food preparation locations.

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Heat and light can deteriorate spices and seasonings, changing their taste and texture. Instead, keep them in a cool, dark pantry or cabinet to retain flavor and shelf life. 

Heat and light damage and rancidize oils. Oil can also stain or deteriorate countertops. Natural stone, unsealed wood, and some grouts are highly permeable. Cooking oils should be stored in a cool, dark cabinet.

To avoid harm and cross-contamination, keep cutting boards and kitchen knives away when not in use. Cutting boards that have touched raw meat can also hold germs.

Some produce spoils faster at room temperature. For best freshness, store root vegetables like potatoes, yams, and onions in a cool, dark spot and fruits like berries and apples in the fridge.

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