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Hand Towels Top Kitchen Contamination Hazards List…Kansas State University… The study had 123 people participate doing food preparation in a kitchen set up on campus and kitchen towels were determined to be the most contaminated of all the contact surfaces tested,” lead researcher and food safety specialist Jeannie Sneed said.” They found that kitchen towels are one of the leading causes of cross contamination in your home. Other findings…cloth towels can easily become contaminated with germs that can cause food borne illnesses. Bacteria commonly found in raw meat and poultry grows on cloth towels stored overnight, even when they are washed and rinsed in the sink. Researchers noticed that many people would touch the same towel before rinsing their hands and even after properly washing, they would reuse the same towel and contaminate themselves all over again.
Bacterial Occurrence in Kitchen Hand Towels…University of Arizona….This study was conducted in 5 major cities in North America where random households were selected in each city and towels were collected by going door to door and requesting one used towel from the kitchen. A total of 82 towels were collected and bacteria were detected in 89.0% and E.coli in 25.6%. The test reported that detergent washing and drying of kitchen towels only slightly reduced microbial contamination and regrowth occurred in 24 hours.
Channel 12 Investigates; Towel Germs…A world-renowned germ expert said he’s found millions of potentially disease-causing microbes in one of the most private rooms in the house…the bathroom. It’s not the toilet, not the bath. It’s what’s hanging on the rack – it’s your hand towel. “We thought towels were very dry, there wouldn’t be a lot of bacteria. We thought we’d have a hard time finding them, but they were jumping out at us actually there were so many in there,” said microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba.. “So, just think about it. You wash your hands and you dry it in the towel and then maybe you had some e-coli or salmonella on there and they get into the towel. It’s wet. It’s moist. They grow. You may start out with a few, but in a few days you’ve got millions is what we found out,” said Gerba. What kinds of germs? Gerba said he tested 500 towels from across the United States and Canada and found that,”Actually, they’re loaded with fecal bacteria. E-coli are very common in high numbers,” said Gerba. “So really, every time you think you’re wiping your face off, you’re putting your face in a towel full of e-coli-you might as well stick your head in a toilet and flush it.”