"Our study demonstrates that the family composition and hygienic practices in the kitchen affected the microbial load of kitchen towels", Chiese news agency Xinhua said quoting Biranjia-Hurdoyal, senior lecturer with the Department of Health Sciences of the University of Mauritius.
In addition, towels used for multiple purposes - including wiping utensils, drying hands and wiping surfaces - grew more bacteria than towels used for a single objective, the researchers found.
In a food-handling study he did in 2015, Sauer found that cloth towels were the most contaminated. But the study found E.coli was more likely to develop on cloths that had been used and then left damp. "Bigger families with children and elderly members should be especially vigilant to hygiene in the kitchen", suggests Biranjia-Hurdoyal.
Staphylococcus aureus, or Staph A, also causes skin infections including boils and blisters and Enterococcus spp, which is normally found in our digestive tracts, can cause bacterial infections meningitis in already ill people.
Bacteria are all around us.
Professor Palombo said moisture is a key factor that affects the growth of bacteria as they thrive in warm, moist environments. "The fact that it's [on] the towel isn't as concerning as [it being in] food", Chapman said.
In fact, she said these household staples were probably "more susceptible" to bacteria growth because they are more often wet.
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"However, even when provided with disposable single-use paper towels, participants were still observed using these in a way that led to additional contamination of contact surfaces", he noted.
Allow tea towels to dry after use and before next use.
They're in the air that we breathe, hanging out on our phones and computer keyboards - and teeming on kitchen sinks, counters and cutting boards. Leave to dry thoroughly before use. Such contamination may end up in food poisoning.
Tea towels can carry food poisoning risks, experts have warned.
Researchers cultured bacteria from 100 kitchen towels after one month of use to determine both the type and amount of bacterial growth. Critical observations of the research conclude that multiple uses of the towels may give rise to cross-contamination by potential pathogens.
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