Researchers Say Kitchen Towels Could Be The Reason For The Food Poisoning: Dirty kitchen towels can aid the growth of the pathogens and cause food poisoning; new research has claimed. Researchers from the University of Mauritius have shown that factors such as family size, type of a diet, multi-usage of the towels, among other factors, affect the growth of pathogens on the kitchen towels, which is potential in causing the food poisoning.
Researchers Say Kitchen Towels Could Be The Reason For The Food Poisoning
Our study is demonstrating that the family composition and hygienic practices in the kitchen affected the microbial load of the kitchen towels, said Susheela D.
Biranjia-Hurdoyal, the lead author of the study. We also found that diet, type of use and moist kitchen towels could be essential in promoting the growth of potential pathogens responsible for food poisoning, she said.
49 per cent of the kitchen towels collecting in the study had bacterial growth which increased in the number with extended family, presence on the children and growing family size.
The towels for multipurpose usage of wiping utensils, drying hands, holding cooking utensils, wiping/cleaning surfaces had a higher bacterial count than single-use towels, and wet towels showed higher bacterial number than the dry ones.
Out of the 49 samples which were favourable for bacterial growth, 36.7 per cent grew coliforms, 36.7 per cent Enterococcus spp, and 14.3 per cent S. aureus.
“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 a load of kitchen towels,” said Susheela D. Biranjia-Hurdoyal, Senior Lecturer, Department of Health Sciences, University of Mauritius, lead author on the study.
A total of 100 kitchen towels are collecting after one month of the use. The researchers cultured the bacteria and identified them by standard biochemical tests. They also determine the bacterial load on the towels.
Aureus isolated at a higher rate from the families of lower socio-economic status and those with children. The risk of having coliforms that is Escherichia coli was higher from wet towels than the dried ones, from multipurpose towels than the single-use ones and from families on the non-vegetarian diets.
Coliform and S. aureus are detecting at significantly higher prevalence from the families with non-vegetarian diets.
Escherichia coli is a healthy flora of human intestine, and it is releasing in large numbers in human faeces. The presence of Escherichia coli indicates possible faecal contamination and lack of hygiene practices.
The data indicated that unhygienic practices while handling non-vegetarian food could be standard on the kitchen, says Biranjia-Hurdoyal.
The presence of a potential pathogen from the kitchen towels indicates that they could be responsible for cross-contamination in the kitchen and could lead to food poisoning.
Humid towels and multipurpose usage of kitchen towels should be discouraged. More prominent families with children and elderly members should be especially vigilant to hygiene in the kitchen,” she said.
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