Are tea towels safe?

Research shows that one of the main causes of cross-contamination within the home is actually an object associated with cleaning, the dishcloth. A new study discussed at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology may put a damper on your kitchen routine. Researchers found that tea towels are much dirtier than we think and can be a big culprit for spreading foodborne illness in our kitchens. Here's a look at the study and tips on how you can keep your kitchen clean and healthy.

Do you remember the last time you washed the tea towel? It should be washed at least once a week, if not more with more frequent use. Place it in the washing machine with detergent and bleach (bleach that does not damage the color if you have a colored towel) and wash it with warm water. Tea towels and tea towels should probably be changed more often than you think. Harmful bacteria can be transferred to a dishcloth when cleaning dirty kitchen surfaces.

Bacteria spread throughout the kitchen when that same towel is used to clean the countertops, kitchen table, and stove top. Gerba says you should wash your hands every time you reuse a cloth towel because they can contaminate your hands and start the whole cycle of cross-contamination all over again. Which defeats the purpose of washing your hands if you dry them on a used cloth towel. When people dry their hands with tea towels after using the toilet, the tea towel becomes a source of foodborne disease pathogens.

If such a dish towel is used to dry dishes, the dishes become contaminated with pathogens, which spreads germs and can make people sick with the home. Researchers at the University of Mauritius collected 100 tea towels and checked bacterial growth. You will most likely agree that it is very common for people to store their fresh food on paper towels and use paper towels to absorb fat after cooking bacon or fritters. Tea towels are part of most kitchens, but there are ways to minimize the risk of spreading germs in the kitchen.

So what does this mean? It means that when used, cloth dishcloth can be a source of foodborne disease pathogens. Wash the kitchen towels on the HOT cycle of the washing machine and make sure they dry completely at high temperature. After washing, I dry the dishes with my kitchen towel, then use paper towels and still let it air dry. This could indicate cross-contamination between animal foods and towels, or other places in the kitchen.

They also found that the more the kitchen towel was used to clean utensils, dry hands, hold hot utensils and clean surfaces, the more bacteria it contained compared to a paper towel. To minimize cross-contamination, use multiple tea towels and designate different towels for different tasks, such as drying your hands instead of wiping up spills. The USDA recommends that tea towels be changed frequently, and a common recommendation is to change them daily. Sponges are the most commonly used item for kitchen cleaning, but unless they are scrupulously kept clean, they can turn into germs and smell bad.

These organic bamboo towels are soft, reusable, eco-friendly, sturdy and super absorbent napkins for all your kitchen needs. For example, if a kitchen towel was used to wipe raw juices from meat, chicken or seafood, it should be immediately put on clothes and use a clean one.

Gwendolyn Steckler
Gwendolyn Steckler

Total gamer. Beer expert. Unapologetic tv fanatic. Total zombie geek. Lifelong tvaholic.

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