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This surprising household item carries the most germs

StarsInsider logo StarsInsider 18/6/2018 Stars Insider
Change your towels: This surprising household item carries the most germs © iStock This surprising household item carries the most germs

Bad news for germaphobes, there is a new disgusting kitchen culprit—and it's not your sponge. A study from the American Society for Microbiology found that the number one household item carrying the most bacteria is actually your kitchen towel.

The University of Mauritius examined 100 towels from ordinary homes, and discovered that 49% were harboring terrifying bacteria such as E. coli, Enterococcus spp, Staphylococcus aureus, or any combination of the three.

“In this study, we investigated the potential role of kitchen towels in cross-contamination in the kitchen and various factors affecting the microbial profile and load of kitchen towels,” Dr. Susheela D. Biranjia-Hurdoyal, Senior Lecturer from the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Mauritius, wrote in the study. 

Researchers found that family size, diet, and usage frequency are all factors for determining how much bacteria towels are carrying. “The data indicated that unhygienic practices while handling non-vegetarian food could be common in the kitchen,” Dr. Biranjia-Hurdoyal said. “Humid towels and multipurpose usage of kitchen towels should be discouraged. Bigger families with children and elderly members should be especially vigilant to hygiene in the kitchen,” she said.

Looks like it may be time to switch out that holiday dish towel your grandmother got you, as it may be grosser than you thought.

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