Wash your hands, but steer clear of the kitchen towel

September 28, 2010 in Food Safety, Nutrition Topics in the News

Wash your hands, but steer clear of the kitchen towel
An alarming new study has revealed that the dirtiest item in Canadian homes is the kitchen towel.

The study was conducted by a group of international experts in microbiology, virology, infectious diseases, immunology and public health.

In an examination of 20 Canadian homes, the researchers found four contained kitchen towels that were highly contaminated with E. coli, a bacteria often linked to foodborne illness that can cause severe cramping and bloody diarrhea.

Researchers took samples from 20 homes in nine countries, and found Germany and the U.S. had the cleanest kitchen towels, with 85 per cent of towels either spotless or at least satisfactory when it came to E. coli counts.
The study recommends towels be washed in water hotter than 60 C to kill E. Coli and other harmful bacteria.

Researchers also looked at fridges, and found Canadians fared pretty well.  In the study, the cleanest fridges were found in Canada and the U.S., where just five per cent had unsatisfactory levels of bacteria and mould.

Canada also ranked the highest in the bathroom category, with just 20 per cent failing the test for bacteria and 25 per cent failing for mould. The U.S. was the next cleanest for bathroom seals, with 40 per cent failing the bacterial test.

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