Your kitchen towels could hold bacteria that cause food poisoning, study suggests

Adjust Comment Print

"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.

Repeated use of kitchen towels can attract pathogens and put the households at a risk of food poisoning, says a new study.

Researchers examined 100 towels for one month and found bacteria growth on almost half (49 per cent) of them.

The bacteria were also more likely to be found on wet towels than dry towels and on towels that were used for multiple purposes, such as wiping utensils, drying hands and cleaning surfaces, according to the study.

The research also shows that E.coli is more likely to be found on damp tea towels.

The researchers also found there was significantly more bacteria on the dish towels of larger families, extended families and those with children. Compared with single-use towels, multipurpose towels had higher colony-forming units (CFUs); humid towels had higher CFUs than dry ones.

Your dish cloth is also the flawless place for bacteria to breed.

A new research has found that dirty kitchen towels can cause food poisoning due to the growth of pathogens in them.

The team is presenting the results of their work at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Atlanta, Georgia.

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. But does that mean your towel can actually make you sick?

The towels incurred from the meat-eating houses showed a higher prevalence of Coliforms along with the Staphylococcus. Using disposable or paper towels can prevent the risk of spreading of bacteria.

The experts have recommended that these towels and other regular use cloths in the kitchen should be replaced daily on days of cooking.

"The data indicated that unhygienic practices while handling non-vegetarian food could be common in the kitchen", said Biranjia-Hurdoyal. The presence of Escherichia coli was said to indicate a possible fecal contamination and lack of hygiene practices such as washing hands. "Bigger families with children and elderly members should be especially vigilant to hygiene in the kitchen", Biranjia-Hurdoyal suggested.

Comments