What’s hid­ing in your ‘clean’ tea tow­els

The Western Star - - FAMILY LIFE -

US­ING your tea towel mul­ti­ple times in be­tween washes could leave your fam­ily at risk of food poi­son­ing, new research has found.

Tea tow­els that aren’t washed reg­u­larly or left to dry be­tween uses carry nasty bugs like E.coli and staph bac­te­ria.

Ex­perts from the Univer­sity of Mau­ri­tius ex­am­ined 100 tea tow­els af­ter a month’s use in a fam­ily home. Of those, 49 tested pos­i­tive for bac­te­rial growth, with 36 per cent con­tam­i­nated with E.coli, 36 per cent con­tam­i­nated with En­te­ro­coc­cus spp and 14 per cent with Sta­phy­lo­coc­cus au­reus.

The larger the fam­ily the higher the chance of bac­te­rial growth on the tea tow­els.

Lead au­thor Dr Bi­ran­jia-Hur­doyal said: “Our study demon­strates that the fam­ily com­po­si­tion and hy­gienic prac­tices in the kitchen af­fected the mi­cro­bial load of kitchen tow­els. We also found that diet, type of use and moist kitchen tow­els could be very im­por­tant in pro­mot­ing the growth of po­ten­tial pathogens re­spon­si­ble for food poi­son­ing.”

Fam­i­lies who ate meat were more likely to have bac­te­ria grow­ing on their tea tow­els, and E.coli in­di­cated pos­si­ble fae­cal con­tam­i­na­tion.

PHOTO: IS­TOCK

SPREAD­ING GERMS: There are nu­mer­ous fac­tors af­fect­ing how bac­te­ria grows in your tea tow­els.

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