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Tea Towels Can Put You At Risk For Food Poisoning, Research Says

12 June 2018

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

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.

Out of the 49 samples which were positive, more than a third (37%) grew E.coli, or Enterococcus spp and one in seven (14%) S. aureus. Although staph bacteria usually don't cause illness in healthy people, when the bacterium gets into food, it can product toxins that can cause food poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

MONDAY, June 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Family composition and hygiene practices are associated with the microbial load of kitchen towels, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, held from June 7 to 11 in Atlanta.

Coliform bacteria and staphylococcus were found at a "significantly higher prevalence" on towels from meat-eating households. Few of us do - but there's a good chance these towels are crawling with bacteria that could increase your risk of food poisoning.

The presence of potential pathogens from the kitchen towels indicates that they could lead to food poisoning through cross-contamination.

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

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To keep germs from spreading, health experts recommend washing or changing kitchen towels, sponges, and oven gloves regularly and letting them dry before using them again. Hygiene maintenance is vital for families that have more members or have children and elderly she said.

Tea towels aren't the only thing in your kitchen harbouring germs.

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

Even if you rinse your cloth out with water after you have used it is not enough to kill the bugs.

Additionally, a 2015 USA study that looked at kitchen health conditions in 100 Philadelphia homes found that almost half had at least one foodborne disease-causing organism, such as E. coli.

"It doesn't surprise me at all that something that's in a kitchen environment has bacteria on it".

"People are picking up bacteria and pieces of food when they wipe surfaces with it, then leaving it by the sink to fester".

Tea Towels Can Put You At Risk For Food Poisoning, Research Says