Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Kitchen Towels Laden With Bacteria

Kitchen Towels Laden With Bacteria Kitchen Towels Laden With Bacteria
Samantha Long | 12 June, 2018, 20:45

A new study finds that kitchen towels can harbor harmful pathogens that could potentially lead to food poisoning.

All of the bugs can cause food poisoning, with E.coli most likely to cause tummy pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea. While it's true that a new study did find that kitchen towels aren't exactly bastions of cleanliness, you don't necessarily need to forever banish them to the deepest, darkest pits of hell. Because they are used for various purposes, they tend to help spread the bacteria to different surfaces and areas in the house leading to food poisoning, the researchers explain.

But it's not just the use of tea towels in the kitchen that can increase the risk of food poisoning. This bacterium, as well as coliforms, were also more likely to reside on towels used by families with non-vegetarian diets.

The towels for multipurpose usage such as wiping utensils, drying hands, holding hot utensils and wiping/cleaning surfaces, had a higher bacterial count than single-use towels while humid towels showed higher bacterial count than the dry ones.

Of the 49 samples which were positive for bacterial growth, 36.7% grew coliform bacteria, a group which includes E. coli.

Ever wonder how much bacteria is growing on your kitchen towel?

Higher rates of S. aureus were found among low-income families and those with children, the findings showed.

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The researchers found that 49 percent of the kitchen towels had bacterial growth, which increased significantly by size of family, extended family, and presence of children.

The study is being presented at the American Society for Microbiology in Atlanta, Georgia annual meet. But does that mean your towel can actually make you sick?

Nearly half the towels had bacteria growing on them - and unsurprisingly, towels used repeatedly and those that were damp were more likely to become microbe havens.

The government recommends washing or changing dish cloths, tea towels, sponges and oven gloves regularly and letting them dry before re-use. Both coliforms and staphylococcus species of bacteria were higher in families that ate meat.

Wash your hands. USDA suggest washing hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, whether it's before you cook or after handling raw meat and its packaging.

"However, even when provided with disposable single-use paper towels, participants were still observed using these in a way that led to additional contamination of contact surfaces", he noted.

"Humid towels and multipurpose usage of kitchen towels should be discouraged", Dr. Biranjia-Hurdoyal said. Hygiene maintenance is vital for families that have more members or have children and elderly she said.

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