Researchers say kitchen towels could be reason for food poisoning

Researchers say kitchen towels could be reason for food poisoning

Researchers from the University of Mauritius tested 100 kitchen towels that had been used for a month and found that many carried pathogens that could lead to food poisoning.

The microbiologists found that roughly half of the 100 towels were growing risky microbes, including the potentially infection-inducing Staphylococcus (also known as "staph") and E. coli. "Mainly because you're cleaning up vegetables, carcasses of meat, and all sorts of food stuff that can potentially contain pathogenic [disease-causing] bacteria that will grow in numbers over time".

Repeated use of the tea towels in the kitchen may be putting the families at risk of food poisonings finds study.

In order to keep your kitchen towels clean and minimize the risk of food poisoning, change them regularly, allow them to dry thoroughly, stick to single uses, and wash your hands regularly.

A new study found kitchen towels can be a breeding ground for E. coli.

Coliforms (Escherichia coli) was found to be higher in humid towels, multipurpose towels and in towels from families having non-vegetarian diets. Of these samples, 36.7 percent grew coliform bacteria, a type that may include E. coli; 36.7 percent grew Enterococcus; and 14.3 percent grew staphylococcus aureus, a type of staph that can cause serious infections. Humidity in the household increased the bacterial loads.

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

Of the towels collected, 49% had bacterial growth, which increased in number with extended family, presence of children and increasing family size.

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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.

For cloth towels, wash them often.

All three food poisoning bugs, which can be fatal for the elderly or infirm, were much more prevalent among families that had non-vegetarian diets.

Although the new finding may sound gross, it doesn't mean you should ditch your kitchen towel; experts said the bacteria found on the towels in this study aren't particularly concerning when it comes to foodborne illnesses.

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

Use different towels for different chores. The presence of this bacteria suggests lack of hygiene practices and possible fecal contamination.

"The data indicated that unhygienic practices while handling non-vegetarian food could be common in the kitchen".

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