Kitchen towels carry pathogens that can lead to food poisoning, study finds

Researchers say kitchen towels could be reason for food poisoning

The researchers recommended against multipurpose usage of kitchen towels and said that larger families "should be especially vigilant [when it comes] to hygiene in the kitchen", lead study author Dr. Susheela Biranjia-Hurdoyal, a senior lecturer in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Mauritius, said in a statement.

All of the bugs can cause food poisoning, with E.coli most likely to cause tummy pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea.

Basically, wash your entire kitchen regularly otherwise you're going to be sitting on the toilet for the foreseeable future, and that is NOT a good look.

"We also found that diet, type of use and moist kitchen towels could be very important in promoting the growth of potential pathogens responsible for food poisoning", she added. Compared with single-use towels, multipurpose towels had higher colony-forming units (CFUs); humid towels had higher CFUs than dry ones. They discovered that the E. coli virus was more likely to be present in the towels used for multiple tasks in the kitchen like cleaning the surfaces, drying out the hands and wiping the utensils.

Among the samples which were positive for bacterial growth, 36.7 percent grew coliforms, 36.7 percent grew Enterococcus spp, and 14.3 percent grew S. aureus.

Further, S aureus was isolated at a higher rate from families of lower socio-economic status and those with children.

Forty-nine percent of the kitchen towels collected for the study were laden with bacteria, and the bacterial count increased with the number of family members and kids, researchers from the Indian Ocean island/nation of Mauritius reported.

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Researchers analyzed 100 towels after one month of use and found that almost half had bacterial growth. How often do you wash them? In addition, damp towels had more bacteria than dry ones, the investigators found.

If you are prone to tea-towel reuse than this post is calling for your urgent attention.

The towels incurred from the meat-eating houses showed a higher prevalence of Coliforms along with the Staphylococcus.

Use different towels for different chores.

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

Families who ate meat were more likely to have bacteria growing on their tea towels and E.coli indicated possible faecal contamination from bad hygiene.

The researchers said that the data suggest that unhygienic handling of non-vegetarian food commonly happens in the kitchen.

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