Kitchen towels can make us sick. This is in any case the conclusion reached by researchers after analyzing a hundred tea towels: nearly half carried bacteria potentially responsible for food poisoning.
Here is the article to read if you tend to keep the same dish towels and towels for weeks before putting them in the washing machine. According to researchers from the University of Mauritius, they are indeed real nests to bacteria, potentially responsible for serious food poisoning.
Scientists presented their work on hygiene in kitchens at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology and were the subject of an article by the BBC. Among the objects most frequently responsible for infections and food poisoning, according to them, are dishcloths, which we use not only to wipe dishes and cooking utensils, but also sometimes to dry our hands and clean the surfaces.
One out of two tins contaminated
The team of Mauritian scientists collected 100 tea towels that were used for one month. After analysis, they found that 49 of them were carriers of bacteria: 36.7% of the towels were developed coliform bacteria, including the famous bacterium E.coli, 36.7% of enterococci and 14.3 % of golden staphylococci.
All of these bacteria are likely to cause food poisoning and can in some cases even lead to more serious infections that can lead to death.
Above all, the researchers found that the tea towels said a lot about the homes they came from and the habits of its members. Thus, the larger a family and children, the more the towel is likely to have significant bacterial growth.
Coliform bacteria and staphylococci have been found to have a "significantly higher prevalence" on the cloths of households where meat is eaten, while the presence of E. bacteria indicates possible faecal contamination and poor hygiene practices. 'hygiene.
"The data indicates that unhygienic practices when handling non-vegetarian food could be common in the kitchen," said lead author Dr Susheela Biranjia-Hurdoyal.
"Wet towels and the versatile use of paper towels should be discouraged, and larger families with children and the elderly should be particularly vigilant about hygiene in the kitchen," she continued.
How to prevent the proliferation of bacteria?
How to guard against food poisoning? The BBC has listed a dozen hygiene measures to apply in a kitchen to prevent bacterial growth on textiles and surfaces.
The British media advises:
- Change the tea towels regularly, even every day or when cooking
- Use disposable cloths or paper towels to prevent the spread of germs
- Wash the cloths at 60 ° C after each use
- Regularly wash dish brushes in a dishwasher or clean them with detergent and hot water after each use
- Ensure that food preparation surfaces are clean before use
- Use separate cutting boards for raw foods - like raw meat - and foods that do not need to be cooked
- Wash and dry hands after handling foods such as raw meat
- Clean the worktop immediately after use.