The kitchen cloth used in most Indian households is highly contaminated with bacteria that have the potential of causing food-borne diseases, a study has found.
Shockingly, the study by the Global Hygiene Council found kitchen cloths to be the dirtiest items in homes.
As part of the study, 150-odd women were asked to prepare a stir-fry, a salad and a children's lunch box. This causes cross-contamination in the kitchen.About 95% of kitchen taps failed the hygiene test, making it the second dirtiest item in the households. Of these, 85% were found to be contaminated with E. coli. Contaminations were found on 92% chopping boards and knives.
"Highly contaminated items were the dish drying towels, kitchen cleaning cloths and sponges. Volunteers used these to wipe their hands after touching raw chicken and vegetables, and then again to wipe hands and surfaces, and even to dry grapes," said Dr Narendra Saini, general secretary, Indian Medical Association.
"The cleaning cloths are highly contaminated and should be washed at high temperatures or disinfected regularly to break the chain of infection," said Professor John Oxford, chairman, Hygiene Council and professor of virology at Queen Mary College, University of London.