It's scary how likely the chances are that your kitchen towels are hiding bacteria linked to food poisoning according to a new study. University of Mauritius conducted a study of 100 kitchen towels used unwashed for one month, roughly half of which were found to have bacterial growth. Most towels typically were associated with children, large families, multiple uses, and higher humidity. In the study of the diets containing meat—37% contained E. coli and the same percentage had Enterococcus, bacteria linked to infections of the gut, urinary tract, and bloodstream, reports US News & World Report.
But staph infections being "on the towel isn't as concerning as it being in food," an expert tells us, noting researchers failed to find the types of bacteria typically associated with foodborne illnesses, like salmonella. "What's listed here doesn't initially raise concerns with me," he says.
Ultimately researchers say people should be careful when using towels in the kitchen. Large families with children and elderly members should be especially vigilant when it comes to hygiene. And while washing towels frequently is a good habit, multi usage of towels should be avoided.