Kitchen towels can harbor disgusting bacteria

Re-using tea towels too much could increase your risk of getting food poisoning

"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 lead author Susheela D. Biranjia-Hurdoyal, senior lecturer from the Department of Health Sciences at the university.

Those used for a range of purposes, such as for wiping utensils, wiping and cleaning surfaces, and drying hands, were found to have higher amount of bacteria compared with single use towels. Each of these one hundred towels has been in continuous use for a month.

Your tea towel is a filthy rag covered in bacteria which can make you poo through the eye of a needle for days, scientists have revealed.

They found staphylococcus was more likely to be found on towels from families with children and of lower socio-economic status.

Still, some strains of E.coli can cause food poisoning and experts say there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family in the kitchen.

Your kitchen towel may harbor a number of different bacteria, a new study finds. Results showed 49 percent of them had bacterial growth. Participants were allowed to wash the towels as often as they pleased, according to Infectious Disease News.

Both E. coli and S. aureus were found at higher rates in families with non-vegetarian diets.

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Coliform and S aureus were detected at significantly higher prevalence from families with non-vegetarian diets. Out of the 49 samples which were positive for bacterial growth, 36.7 percent grew coliforms, 36.7 percent Enterococcus spp, and 14.3 percent S. aureus.

"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.

The research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Atlanta, Georgia, in the US.

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.

According to the researchers, the presence of these potential pathogens, especially E.coli, from the kitchen towels indicates potential faecal contamination and bad hygiene practices.

"The data indicated that unhygienic practices while handling non-vegetarian food could be common in the kitchen", Biranjia-Hurdoyal said. Hygiene maintenance is vital for families that have more members or have children and elderly she said.

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