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According to the American Society for Microbiology, nearly HALF of all kitchen towels are teeming with bacteria. That includes E.coli and other illness-causing pathogens. And the chances are even higher that your kitchen towel is contaminated if you live in a humid climate – you have a larger family – and your family eats meat, instead of being vegetarian. Of the contaminated kitchen towels, 75% contained bacteria normally found in the intestines… and another 14% grew colonies of staph. 

So to avoid catching something disgusting from your kitchen towels, the researchers offer these tips:

First: Before you start food prep, and after handling raw meat and its packaging, wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. That way, most of the germs will be washed down the drain instead of ending up on the towel. 

Next: For cloth kitchen towels, wash them often. And use hot water, so it’ll remove bacteria. Also, have multiple dishtowels handy to avoid reusing a dirty one.

Finally: Only use paper towels once. The more you use a paper towel, the higher the odds you’ll start spreading germs around.

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