1. Microbiology & Food Hygiene

The microbiological status of household dishcloths and associated consumer hygiene practices on the island of Ireland

Project Reference:

01-2011

Status:

Completed

Commencement Date:

August, 2011

Project Duration:

6 weeks

Abstract:

Dishcloths play a role in every kitchen in so far as they clean worktops and surfaces of visible contamination. However, one of the most dangerous sources of virulent bacteria including E. coli, Salmonella and others, is the typical kitchen dishcloth, as food residues adhere to the surface.

These food residues, together with the moisture retained in the dishcloths, offer a favourable environment for bacterial growth. Studies indicated that various bacteria survive on dishcloths for hours or days after initial contact with microorganisms which may lead to cross contamination within the kitchen environment increasing the possibility of food poisoning.

The objective of this project was to carry out a survey of 200 in use household dishcloths to elucidate their microbiological profiles. 

Principal Contractor(s):

Ms Martine De Boer, Eolas International Research Ltd., Co. Cork

Collaborator(s):

Ms Janet Francis and Ms. Catherine Cockcroft, EXOVA, Guildford

Outputs:

Report:

The microbiological status of household dishcloths and associated consumer hygiene

Peer Campaigns:

If You Could See Germs Spread