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Are YOU spreading germs every time you wash the dishes? Researchers find 90% of tea towels in US kitchens are covered in bacteria

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Are YOU spreading germs every time you wash the dishes? Researchers find 90% of tea towels in US kitchens are covered in bacteria

Your kitchen towels may be spreading food poisoning bugs and bacteria around your home, researchers have warned.

They say that by wiping dishes with dirty tea towels, homeowners are unwittingly smearing them in bacteria.

Researchers found almost 90% of tea towels in US kitchens contained bacteria.

This could cause major problems, the team say.

The study from the University of Arizona has found enteric bacteria in 89 per cent and E. coli in 25.6 per cent of kitchen tea-towels.

'The common occurrence of enteric bacteria in kitchen sponges and dishcloths suggests that they can play a role in the cross-contamination of foods, fomites and hands by foodborne pathogens. 

'This study investigated the occurrence of bacteria in kitchen towels often used to dry dishes, hands and other surfaces in the domestic kitchen,' the team wrote. 

A total of 82 kitchen hand towels were collected from households in five major cities in the United States and Canada.

The numbers of heterotrophic bacteria, coliform bacteria, and Escherichia coli in each towel were determined.

In addition, identification of the enteric bacteria was performed on selected towels. 

The study from the University of Arizona has found enteric bacteria in 89 per cent and E. coli in 25.6 per cent of kitchen tea-towels.

Coliform bacteria were detected in 89.0% and E. coli in 25.6% of towels. 

The presence of E. coli was related to the frequency of washing, the team said. 

'You may think you are cleaning the counter where food will be placed,' Kelly Reynolds, a researcher at the University of Arizona's Zuckerman College of Public Health told The Huffington Post. 

'But if you are using a dirty kitchen rag, you may actually be introducing hundreds of thousands of bacteria.'

Dr Reynolds said in order to keep kitchen towels clean you should wash them after each use. 

If this is not practical, she suggested dipping them in diluted bleach and hanging them up to dry. 

dailymail.co.uk


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Published by , 30.10.2014 at 18:00
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Tom Stevenson
Tom Stevenson 30 October 14 19:18 Fresh tea towel every day. Dishcloth into washing machine + into bleach solution overnight. Scrub appliance handles and door handles frequently! Text hided expand
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Maria
Maria 31 October 14 07:36 It's the bacteria one needs to keep up one's resistance levels up, it's not rocket science. Text hided expand
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Rachel
Rachel 4 November 14 00:15 I hate tea towels. Especially wet ones! Text hided expand
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