Look Out! Kitchen Towels Can Cause Food Poisoning

Look Out! Kitchen Towels Can Cause Food Poisoning

The humble kitchen towels used for multi-purpose tasks can put your households at potential risk of bacteria that cause food poisoning, say researchers. The findings showed that the towels used for wiping utensils, drying hands, holding hot utensils, wiping/cleaning surfaces, had a higher bacterial count. Coliforms (Escherichia coli) was found to be higher in humid towels, multipurpose towels and in towels from families having non-vegetarian diets. 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 said.

“Our study demonstrates that the family composition and hygienic practices in the kitchen affected the microbial load of kitchen towels,” said lead author Susheela D. Biranjia-Hurdoyal, senior lecturer, at the University of Mauritius.

“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.

Further, S. aureus was isolated at a higher rate from families of lower socio-economic status and those with children.

Coliform and S. aureus were detected at significantly higher prevalence from families with non-vegetarian diets.

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.

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

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.

“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.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Health
E-cigarettes can harm your health, its flavour additives can cause heart damage

E-cigarettes may seem like a good alternative to regular cigarettes, but a new study by the American Heart Association shows that flavoured additives used in it can impair blood vessel function and lead to heart damage. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid — including tobacco-derived nicotine, flavouring and …

Health
Keto diet plan for weight loss, include these dishes to lose weight faster

Now that you’ve decided to get on the keto bandwagon for weight loss, you need to be mindful of how much fat, carbs and proteins you can consume. Keto is also known as thehigh-fat, low carb diet that is gaining popularity for its many benefits, the main one being weight loss. According to …

Health
Practical tips to protect yourself from air pollution, dust, smog

A thick haze has currently enveloped Delhi and nearby areas, with levels of PM10, a measure of pollution, being eight times the permissible limit. The air quality is ‘severely bad’ and it could spell disaster for your respiratory health. Dr Arvind Kumar, director, Institute of Robotic surgery and chairman, center for chest …