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.
Out of these 49 per cent had bacterial growth which increased in number with extended family, presence on children and increasing family size.
All of the bugs can cause food poisoning, with E.coli most likely to cause tummy pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea.
"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 Susheela D. Biranjia-Hurdoyal, senior lecturer of health sciences at the University of Mauritius and a lead author on the study presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. It was also more likely to be found on damp towels, or in places where meat was eaten.
A new study finds that kitchen towels can harbor harmful pathogens that could potentially lead to food poisoning.
Their thorough research work reveals that the multiple use towel shows the presence of Escherichia coli.
Basically, wash your entire kitchen regularly otherwise you're going to be sitting on the toilet for the foreseeable future, and that is NOT a good look.
The study further states that staphylococcus aureus was isolated at a higher rate from families of lower socio-economic status and those with children.
And 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. Hygiene maintenance is vital for families that have more members or have children and elderly she said. Biranjia-Hurdoyal conducted an earlier study of kitchen tables in 2016 and found they can also be hangout spots for unsafe bacteria.
The experts have recommended that these towels and other regular use cloths in the kitchen should be replaced daily on days of cooking. For one thing, the researchers suggest you avoid using kitchen towels for multiple purposes. "There's just a wider range of sources of possible bacteria in the kitchen".
Although staph can indeed cause foodborne illness when it's found in food, the bacterium is also very common on skin.