While we use many items in our kitchen on a day to day basis, it is the kitchen towel that is used most of all the kitchen essentials! But, are you aware that the item you use to clean up your kitchen counter and what not necessarily does not always qualify to clean up itself! Here is the reason why…

The kitchen towel that you so liberally use on a daily basis may not be the perfect cleaning option as it bears various bacteria that can lead to some terrible food borne illnesses and may cause food poisoning.

At the University of Mauritius, the researchers performed a study in which they used 100 one month old kitchen towels that were not washed. The study reported that nearly half of the kitchen towels tested positively for bacterial growth.

They also checked these towels for cross contamination and other factors that affect the microbial profile of these towels. The researchers mainly found the presence of coliform bacteria, Enterococcus, and Staphylococcus aureus strains of microorganisms. S.aureus, which is usually present on the nose, skin, and throat, was prevalent on the kitchen towel of families with more children and those who belonged to low socio economic status.

E. coli was mostly present on the kitchen towels of meat eaters. Interestingly, the presence of E.coli on towels is suggestive of fecal contamination and poor hygiene as it is mostly found in human feces. There was another interesting revelation in the study, kitchen towels that were used for other cleaning functions, other than just wiping off the kitchen counter, had a higher number of bacteria growing on them when these towels were in a warm and humid state.

So, to avoid getting any member of the family falling prey to these harmful microorganisms you must try to follow these rituals.

Clean and swap your kitchen towels often.

Single use towels are more beneficial to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Reusable towels to be used just by one person only and must be cleaned in the laundry after every use.

You must regularly wash hands, disinfect the counter tops, wipe off the kitchen cabinets and all door handles, including that of the refrigerators. Cleaning of door handles must especially be practiced after cooking the high protein food group such as raw meats, dairy, and eggs.

Always keep your kitchen area and the kitchen towels clean and dry. Hands should also be washed regularly, particularly in households with larger families.