The Checkup: Ick—Your Blender Is Probably the Germiest Thing in Your Kitchen

A new study that tested kitchen items for germs found lots of 'em on household blenders.

• I spent the weekend cleaning my family’s Shore house from top to bottom to get it ready for the summer season. But guess what I didn’t clean at all? The blender. And turns out, that little oversight could prove a costly one, health-wise, since household blenders are the germiest things in most kitchens, according to a new study. The culprit is the gasket–the rubber seal at the bottom of the blender that makes it watertight—which most people don’t remove and thoroughly clean. The result: a blender that’s absolutely, positively swimming in germs, including allergens like yeast and mold and illness-inducing bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. Ew, ew, ew. Other dirty kitchen items include spatulas, refrigerator ice and water dispensers, and refrigerator veggie and meat drawers. The New York Times has more.

• Whoa, talk about a big leap forward in autism research: A new test developed at Yale University can pretty accurately predict a newborn’s autism risk by identifying abnormalities in the placenta. Since early intervention and therapy is key in treating autism—and since most kids aren’t diagnosed until they’re two or three years old—the test could prove a big leap forward. More here.

How do you feel about government-mandated taxes on soda and candy? If you’re like 58 percent of Americans, you’re probably against them. A new poll found that Americans oppose such taxes by a margin of more than 2-1, with only about 22 percent in favor of them. Read more here.