What’s hiding in your ‘clean’ tea towels
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.
SPREADING GERMS: There are numerous factors affecting how bacteria grows in your tea towels.