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The survival of foodborne pathogens during domestic washing-up and subsequent transfer onto washing-up sponges, kitchen surfaces and food.

This study highlights the potential for survival and cross contamination of foodborne bacteria in the kitchen. In a typical UK washing-up process simulation, bacterially contaminated soiled dishes were washed in warm water containing detergent. The risk of bacterial transfer to other dishes and sponges, kitchen surfaces or food was assessed. Some dishes remained contaminated with bacteria after washing-up. Water hardness did not appear to affect survival. E. coli and Salmonella survived towel or air-drying on dishes and after towel-drying the cloth became contaminated on every occasion. Some sterile dishes washed after contaminated dishes became contaminated. Washing-up sponges frequently became contaminated with bacteria. Frequency of transfer of bacteria from contaminated dishes to food was low. Int J Food Microbiol 2003;85(3):213-226.

Author: Mattick K, Durham K, Domingue G, Jorgensen F, Sen M, Schaffner DW, Humphrey T

Published: 01/01/2003

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: International Journal of Food Microbiology