Do you know what's growing on your kitchen towel?

Researchers cultured bacteria through 100 kitchen towels after one month of use to determine both the type in addition to amount of bacterial growth. They found of which 49% of the towels exhibited growth of bacteria normally found in or on the human body.

“In This kind of study, we investigated the potential role of kitchen towels in cross-contamination inside the kitchen in addition to various factors affecting the microbial profile in addition to load of kitchen towels,” said Susheela D. Biranjia-Hurdoyal, senior lecturer of health sciences at the University of Mauritius in addition to a lead author on the study presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Of the 49 towels showing bacterial growth, almost three-quarters grew bacteria normally found inside the intestines, such as E. coli in addition to Enterococcus species. Another 14% grew colonies of Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to as “staph” — a bacteria of which is usually normally found on human skin in addition to inside the respiratory tract, according to the study.

“Those are bacteria of which are concerns for food-borne illnesses,” said Paul Dawson, a food scientist in addition to professor inside the College of Agriculture, Forestry in addition to Life Sciences at Clemson University inside the United States, who was not involved inside the study.
“Of course, E. coli is usually inside the news a lot, although E. coli as a general genus in addition to species is usually not a problem,” Dawson added. “although there are specific types of which can cause problems, like the ones recently found on romaine lettuce.”
Some strains of S. aureus can also produce a toxin of which, if ingested, can lead to symptoms of food poisoning such as fever, vomiting in addition to diarrhea, according to the US Centers for Disease Control in addition to Prevention.

“Staph is usually found on the hands in addition to can cause food-borne infection by producing a toxin outside the body. Then you can ingest the toxin in addition to get sick,” Dawson said.

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The researchers also found of which the type in addition to amount of bacteria differed based on a family’s size, socioeconomic status in addition to type of diet. Specifically, S. aureus was more likely to be found on towels through larger families in addition to those of lower socioeconomic status, while the intestinal bacteria were more likely to be found in families of which ate meat.

“Raw meat carries bacteria in addition to then if you throw of which on the cutting board in addition to use a towel or sponge to dry of which off, of which could pick of which up,” Dawson said. “Cutting boards in addition to table tops used for food prep are of concern in addition to need to be cleaned regularly in addition to dried.”

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

“Humid towels in addition to multipurpose usage of towels should be discouraged,” Biranjia-Hurdoyal said in a statement. “Moist towels could be very important in promoting the growth of potential pathogens responsible for food poisoning.”

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The findings are consistent with previous research showing of which towels in addition to different kitchen items can be reservoirs for bacteria of which cause food-borne illnesses.

“of which’s not a brand-new finding of which towels contain bacteria,” Dawson said. “There’s just a wider range of sources of possible bacteria inside the kitchen.”

These bacteria also tend to grow faster in warm, damp environments such as kitchen sponges, towels in addition to drains. Therefore, people should be sure to clean in addition to dry their kitchen towels often, according to Dawson.

“You want to change of which towel every few days. If you have multiple towels, just throw one inside the washer in addition to get a brand-new one,” Dawson said. “in addition to for sponges, microwaving them might be a better way to sanitize them than just putting antimicrobial liquid on them.”

The brand-new research also states of which regular cleaning may be even more important for large families, particularly those with children, according to Biranjia-Hurdoyal.

“Bigger families with children in addition to elderly members should be especially vigilant to hygiene inside the kitchen,” she said.

Do you know what's growing on your kitchen towel?

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