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Assessment of the ability of dishcloths to spread harmful bacteria to other kitchen surfaces and det

Project Reference: 02-2011

Status: Completed

Commencement Date: November, 2011

Project Duration: 5 months


Dishcloths are routinely used in many domestic kitchens to clean worktops and other contaminated food contact surfaces. The prospect that such dishcloths may actually harbour pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and subsequently facilitate the spread of these microorganisms during cleaning is of concern to safefood

Indeed a previous study commissioned by safefood showed that a range of foodborne pathogens survive on dishcloths for at least a day, and that such reservoirs of potentially dangerous bacteria may lead to cross contamination within the kitchen environment, thus increasing the possibility of food poisoning (McDowell et al. 2010).

This project built upon the outcomes of a previous dishcloth survey and provided solutions to consumers upon which advice can be based and communication activities designed.

Principal Contractor(s):

Prof David McDowell, University of Ulster, Jordanstown


Single supplier



The microbiological status of household dishcloths and associated consumer hygiene


If You Could See Germs Spread

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