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Determining the most effective common household disinfection method to reduce the microbial load on domestic dishcloths: a pilot study.

The domestic dishcloth has been shown to be the most contaminated item in the domestic kitchen, reported to contain up to 108 bacteria for up to 48 hours. Their smooth texture and large surface area allow bacteria to be transferred to kitchen surfaces easily, presenting a greater risk of cross-contamination and potentially contributing to foodborne illness. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the most effective method to decrease the aerobic colony count (ACC) present on contaminated dishcloths. Dishcloths were inoculated in a beef slurry for 48 hours at room temperature. Contaminated dishcloths were subjected to 1-minute treatments of 10% bleach solution, lemon juice, vinegar, tap water, and microwaving. Serial dilutions were plated and incubated at 37°C overnight. Three replicates were produced, and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Although treatments of 10% bleach solution and vinegar showed reduced ACC growth, no growth was identified after microwaving dishcloths for 1 minute on high power. There was no significant difference identified between the tap water and lemon juice treatments. Given that this is the first study conducted directly comparing different disinfection methods for dishcloths, microwaving dishcloths on high power for 1 minute can be recommended to disinfect domestic dishcloths and reduce cross-contamination within the home.

 

Determining the most effective common household disinfection method to reduce the microbial load on domestic dishcloths: a pilot study. Environmental Health Review63(4): 101-106. https://doi.org/10.5864/d2020-024

Author: Gillies E

Published: 13/02/2021

Publication Type: Journal article