Medical

Kitchen towels 'can cause food poisoning'

Kitchen towels 'can cause food poisoning'

A study shows how a tea towel can spread food poisoning. The presence of Escherichia coli, a normal flora of human intestine that's released in large numbers in human feces, indicates possible fecal contamination and lack of hygiene practices.

Their research discovered E. coli was more likely to be found on tea towels used for more than one job, including cleaning surfaces and wiping utensils, as well as drying hands.

Of the towels collected, 49 per cent had bacterial growth, which increased in number with extended family, presence of children and increasing family size. "Many E. coli, even if you ingest them, you wouldn't get sick".

Coliforms (Escherichia coli) was found to be higher in humid towels, multipurpose towels and in towels from families having non-vegetarian diets.

"In this study, we investigated the potential role of kitchen towels in cross-contamination in the kitchen and various factors affecting the microbial profile and load of kitchen towels", said Dr. Susheela D. Biranjia-Hurdoyal, Senior Lecturer, Department of Health Sciences, University of Mauritius, lead author on the study.

Keep them dry. Bacteria love moisture, and humid towels grow more of it. Keep your towels splayed open on a rack or rod where they can dry out in between uses, and consider getting a towel with nylon or polyester in the fabric, as they'll dry faster than 100% cotton towels. 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. "Bigger families with children and elderly members should be especially vigilant to hygiene in the kitchen", Biranjia-Hurdoyal suggested.




Out of the remaining towels that tested positive for bacterial presence, 36.7 percent towels contained coliform bacteria while the rest 36.7 percent contained enterococcus spp and remaining 14.3 contained staphylococcus aureus.

Additionally, a 2015 US study that looked at kitchen health conditions in 100 Philadelphia homes found that almost half had at least one foodborne disease-causing organism, such as E. coli. And damp towels grew more bacteria than dry towels, according to the study, which was presented Saturday (June 9) at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in Atlanta.

Use hot, soapy water and paper towels or clean cloths to wipe up kitchen surfaces or spills.

Kitchen towels can harbor pathogens that may cause food poisoning, findings of new study have revealed.

Dr Ackerley previously told The Sun Online: "I have never come across a kitchen cloth that is safe". They noted that 49 percent of the towels had growth of bacteria in them.


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