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

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

Tea towels can carry food poisoning risks, experts have warned.

Of the 49 towels showing bacterial growth, nearly three-quarters grew bacteria normally found in the intestines, such as E. coli and Enterococcus species.

Specifically, the researchers found that towels used for a variety of tasks - such as wiping utensils, drying hands, holding hot utensils or cleaning surfaces - had more bacteria than towels used for one task.

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.

University of Mauritius have found that E. coli, a common stomach upset bug, is found abundantly in tea towels that are used for multiple purposes in the kitchens.

Coliforms (Escherichia coli) was found to be higher in humid towels, multipurpose towels and in towels from families having non-vegetarian diets. They also determined the bacterial load on the towels.

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

"Diet, type of use, and moist kitchen towels could be very important in promoting the growth of potential pathogens responsible for food poisoning", Biranjia-Hurdoyal said in a statement.

Families who ate meat were more likely to have bacteria growing on their tea towels and E.coli indicated possible faecal contamination from bad hygiene.

Every time you reuse that cloth you are wiping bacteria across your kitchen bench. The rate of isolation of Staphylococcus aureus was higher for families of lower socioeconomic status and those with children. And damp towels grew more bacteria than dry towels, according to the study, which was presented Saturday (June 9) at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in Atlanta.

Of those, 49 tested positive for bacterial growth, with 36 per cent contaminated with E.coli, 36 per cent contaminated with Enterococcus spp and 14 per cent with Staphylococcus aureus. They also determined the bacterial load on the towels.

Additionally, a 2015 US 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.

For the study, Biranjia-Hurdoyal and her colleagues sampled 100 kitchen towels that had been used for one month. But "it doesn't surprise me at all that something that's in a kitchen environment has bacteria on it".

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