Every week until the New Year, we'll highlight a different kitchen action that might be naughty enough to encourage the spread of harmful bacteria.
Food Safety Naughty List # 1: Using Dirty Towels
This study published in Food Protection Trends revealed that Salmonella and E. coli can survive in cotton dish towels and might contribute to cross-contamination at home.
Recent research commissioned by USDA FSIS found towels to be the most contaminated of all kitchen surfaces examined. The paper will be published in the January issue of Food Protection Trends.
If you grab a towel after handling raw meat and before washing your hands, that towel could be contaminated.
Stay on the food safety nice list! If you use cloth towels in the kitchen, wash them frequently in the hot cycle of your washing machine. If you use a paper towel to wipe surfaces or hands, toss it after one use. Do not re-use it.