Kitchen towels can pose to at a risk of food poisoning

Your tea towel is absolutely disgusting and could give you food poisoning

Your tea towel is absolutely disgusting and could give you food poisoning

Factors, including family size, type of diet, multi-usage of towels, impact the growth of pathogens on kitchen towels, potentially causing food poisoning, says researchers from the University of Mauritius.

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

Is your kitchen towel making you sick?

Non-vegetarian diets, multipurpose use, and leaving the towels moist may increase the risk of or directly promote the growth of pathogens, Biranjia-Hurdoyal added.

The findings are consistent with previous research showing that towels and other kitchen items can be reservoirs for bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses.

A new study explored the kind of bacteria likely to reside in our kitchen towels.

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. Out of the 49 samples that were positive for bacterial growth, 36.7 percent grew coliforms, 36.7 percent grew Enterococcus spp and 14.3 percent grewS. aureus.

Ever wonder how much bacteria is growing on your kitchen towel? The study noted presence of staphylococcus in towels that come from families that belong to lower socio-economic conditions and those with large number of kids.

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.

First, the study: Not yet available for peer-review, it was first presented last week at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Atlanta, Georgia. All surfaces should be cleaned after use and most importantly hands should be washed before preparation of food and after handling raw meat, fish, eggs or poultry.

"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.

According to lead author of the study, Dr Susheela Biranjia-Hurdoyal, the presence of coliforms indicate that there is a possibility of bad hygiene and fecal contamination.

"The data indicated that unhygienic practices while handling non-vegetarian food could be common in the kitchen. Bigger families with children and elderly members should be especially vigilant to hygiene in the kitchen", she said.

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