Thursday, 23 May 2019

Research says that kitchen towels can cause food poisoning


Image for illustrationImage for illustration -  Recently,  researchers says the humble kitchen towels used for multi-purpose tasks on  your households have potential risk of bacteria that cause food poisoning.

For the study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Georgia, the team collected total of 100 kitchen towels after one month of use.

 Out of these 49 per cent had bacterial growth which increased in number with extended family, presence on children and increasing family size. Out of these 49 samples positive for bacterial growth, 36.7 per cent grew coliforms, 36.7 per cent Enterococcus spp and 14.3 per cent S. aureus.

Lead author Susheela D. Biranjia-Hurdoyal, senior lecturer, at the University of Mauritius told as quoted from TOI on Thursday, June 14 2018 told that the findings showed that the towels used for wiping utensils, drying hands, holding hot utensils, wiping/cleaning surfaces, had a higher bacterial count.

And she told that coliforms (Escherichia coli) was found to be higher in humid towels and multipurpose towels. 

The presence of  the kitchen towels indicates that they could be responsible for cross-contamination in the kitchen and could lead to food poisoning.

Hurdoyal said, "Our study demonstrates that the family composition and hygienic practices in the kitchen affected the microbial load of kitchen towels."

"We also found that diet, type of use and moist kitchen towels could be very important in promoting the growth of potential pathogens responsible for food poisoning," she added. 

Escherichia coli is a normal flora of human intestine and it is released in large numbers in human feces.

The presence of Escherichia coli indicates possible fecal contamination and lack of hygiene practices. 

"Humid towels and multipurpose usage of kitchen towels should be discouraged. Bigger families with children and elderly members should be especially vigilant to hygiene in the kitchen," Biranjia-Hurdoyal suggested.




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