Now that we’ve finally had a little snowfall, the official season of sniffles and flu is upon us. While most people presumably received a flu shot this year (I refused), you assume washing your hands and steering clear of the coughing coworkers will save you. Well you know what they say, when you assume…

There’s actually a list of nine unsuspecting things in your own house that are most likely contributing to your sleepless, coughing nights. According to The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are 48 million Americans a year get sick from food-borne illnesses — strains of E.coli, salmonella, and listeria — and sometimes, instead of restaurants, the illness is born in your own home.

Your Refrigerator

iStock/Thinkstock

iStock/Thinkstock

Basically the entire thing is a cesspool of germs if you don’t clean it regularly. That weird liquid that has somehow morphed into a sticky mess? Germs and mold. Your fruit and vegetable drawer that you stocked full for your “new you”? It’s now full of microorganisms causing infections. And don’t forget the electric coil to your freezer which melts every couple of hours into a little tray (who knew?). I’m going to assume you haven’t even seen it in a year, yet alone had it cleaned. Just clean it. Believe me.

Your Sheets

Fuse/Thinkstock

Fuse/Thinkstock

There’s nothing better than recovering from the flu and changing your germ covered sheets for fresh, new ones. But, you really need to change them on the regular to get rid of the dust mites that accumulate over time. Also, you should be washing them at 60 degrees or lower with antibacterial detergent. And maybe, just maybe, stop sleeping naked.

Your Blender

iStock/Thinkstock

iStock/Thinkstock

Another problem with your vow to juicing this year (besides the constant hunger) is your need to thoroughly clean your blender after every use. A quick rinse and scrub isn’t going to do it. That little part under the blades is hiding all your leftovers and collecting E.coli like it’s its job.

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