Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Avoid humid towels and multi-usage of kitchen towels

Your tea towel is absolutely disgusting and could give you food poisoning Researchers say kitchen towels could be reason for food poisoning
Johnnie Parks | 13 June, 2018, 20:40

"In this study, we investigated the potential role of kitchen towels in cross-contamination in the kitchen and various factors affecting the microbial profile and load of kitchen towels", said Dr. Susheela D. Biranjia-Hurdoyal, Senior Lecturer, Department of Health Sciences, University of Mauritius, lead author on the study.

The researchers also found that the type and amount of bacteria differed based on a family's size, socioeconomic status and type of diet.

Staphylococcus or coliform bacteria were detected on more than one-third of the tea towels used in the study.

The towels for multipurpose usage such as wiping utensils, drying hands, holding hot utensils and wiping/cleaning surfaces, had a higher bacterial count than single-use towels while humid towels showed higher bacterial count than the dry ones. Therefore, people should be sure to clean and dry their kitchen towels often, according to Dawson. They also determined the bacterial load on the towels. "Bigger families with children and elderly members should be especially vigilant to hygiene in the kitchen", Biranjia-Hurdoyal said.

"This will reduce the opportunity for bacteria to grow to potentially risky levels", he said.

Staphylococcus can cause food poisoning as the bacteria multiplies quickly at room temperature to produce a toxin that causes illness, but can be killed by cooking and pasteurisation.

The USDA also recommends taking several precautions when preparing food in the kitchen in order to prevent the spread of germs that could make you or your family sick.

"If the tea towels are damp, this increases the chance for growth but only if there are sufficient nutrients, like food residues", he said. Approximately forty-nine percent of the towels had bacterial growth.

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Who's More Prone To Bacteria?

Ms Moir told The New Daily there are a number of ways consumers can minimise the risks.

"If you have multiple towels, just throw one in the washer and get a new one", Dawson said.

Allow tea towels to dry after use and before next use.

We're talking about kitchen towels. Leave to dry thoroughly before use.

Avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen by keeping raw meats and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods, such as salads.

"Furthermore, reusing contaminated towels to wipe hands or other surfaces can easily lead to cross-contamination, and therefore should not be reused throughout meal preparation, since they too can contribute to contamination of hands, surfaces or other food products", Sauer said.

Researchers cultured bacteria from 100 kitchen towels after one month of use to determine both the type and amount of bacterial growth.

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