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As your Sacramento Chiropractor, I have a confession to make: I’m a health nut, plain and simple. I believe that the human body is an amazing organic instrument that, just like a musical instrument, requires care and attention in order for it to “play” the way it was designed to. Some health practices are obvious: Eat nutritious meals, avoid processed foods and too much salt and sugar, stay hydrated, get plenty of exercise, and last but not least, see your chiropractor on a regular basis! However, other health practices may not be quite so apparent, such as keep your refrigerator clean. Yep, that’s right! A refrigerator that contains old food or food spills, is a health hazard with major health consequences. How unhealthy? There is a detailed, and sometimes amusing, account of just how unhealthy “bad refrigeration” can be in an article by Eric Spitznagel in Bloomberg Businessweek, which I highly recommend your reading if you have a chance. But, in the meantime, I would like to pass along a few things that you should be aware of.

Though office refrigerators were the focus of the article and studies, it’s equally important, of course, for each of us to ask ourself how often we clean out our home refrigerator. According to a study conducted by the ADA and ConAgra Foods, 44 percent of office refrigerators are cleaned once a month and 22 percent are cleaned only once or twice a year. The article suggested that the next time someone was looking for a relatively bacteria-free place to store their lunch, they should consider that the bathrooms in most offices are probably cleaner than the fridge. (At least they are cleaned more often!) According to the Agriculture Dept., the foods most likely to turn unhealthiest the quickest are casseroles, cold cuts, poultry, yogurt, and sour cream. Though such food items are healthy “in the beginning,” can go from bad to lethal. Last year at an AT&T Center in San Jose, California, a co-worker who was trying to be helpful, cracked open the office fridge to clean it and noxious fumes sent seven of her co-workers to the hospital and forced authorities to evacuate the building while men in hazmat suits spread down the fridge!

So, add “clean the refrigerator” to your health “to do” list. Even food that’s good for you when it’s fresh, can be bad for your health given enough time!