This is the horrifying truth about your tea towels

The researchers recommended against multipurpose usage of kitchen towels and said that larger families "should be especially vigilant [when it comes] to hygiene in the kitchen", lead study author Dr. Susheela Biranjia-Hurdoyal, a senior lecturer in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Mauritius, said in a statement.

"The presence of these potential pathogens from the kitchen towels indicates that they could be responsible for cross-contamination in the kitchen and could lead to food poisoning", the researchers say.

The number of people in a household, particularly the number of children, also increased the bacterial growth, as did the diet of the residents - meat eaters' towels had more bacteria.

Multipurpose towels (used for wiping plates, cutlery, kitchen surfaces, hands) had a higher bacterial count than single-use ones while humid towels were found to have a higher bacterial count than the dry ones.

Scientists concluded that using disposable, single-use paper towels for kitchen towels was a more hygienic option. Critical observations of the research conclude that multiple uses of the towels may give rise to cross-contamination by potential pathogens. This new study complicates that advice, suggesting it's not just how often you wash your towels, but also how you use them that determines how dirty they get and how often they should be swapped.

Kitchen towels may harbor unsafe bacteria such as e.coli from human feces that can cause food poisoning.

The risk of harboring coliforms, such as E. coli, was higher in humid towels than dry ones.

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.

Researchers analyzed 100 towels after one month of use and found that almost half had bacterial growth.

Wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers or handling pets.

Their thorough research work reveals that the multiple use towel shows the presence of Escherichia coli.

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

For the study, Biranjia-Hurdoyal and her colleagues sampled 100 kitchen towels that had been used for one month.

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

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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