Your dish sponge could have cholera causing bacteria- New study

Research shows that they are filled with bacteria that could serious health problems.

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But while the clean freaks enjoy a sparkling outlook in their kitchens they remain similarly exposed to bacteria as those who don't clean up at all.

According to a new study, the dish sponge is one of the most filthy things in your kitchen.

The research done by Scientific Reports states that the sponge is so dirty that even washing or boiling it in hot water does not remove the germs at all.

The study shows that regularly 'cleaned' sponges were actually no cleaner than sponges that have never been cleaned.

Researchers gathered fourteen sponges from regular, private homes in an area in Germany.

Each sponge was separated into its top and bottom parts with sterile instruments and immediately frozen until the researchers could conduct DNA extraction and FISH staining.

The owners of the sponges were then asked if they regularly applied special measures to clean their sponge, such as heating it in the microwave or rinsing with hot, soapy water, and how frequently they changed their sponges.

The majority of the people changed their sponges on a monthly basis.

Researchers found that the sponges were filled with a class of bacteria called Gammaproteobacteria, which include pathogens that can lead to food poisoning, cholera, and even the plague, although we believe the risk of the latter is pretty low.

The researchers noted that the porous nature of sponges make them the perfect place to incubate microorganisms, meaning that a sugar-cube sized piece of the most bacteria-dense part of a sponge contains 54 billion bacterial cells.

"Kitchen sponges have the capability to collect and spread bacteria with a probable pathogenic potential and are the biggest reservoirs of active bacteria in the whole house, "‘ they stated, "Kitchen sponges not only act as a reservoir of microorganisms but also as disseminators over domestic surfaces which can lead to cross-contamination of hands and food, which is considered the main cause of food-borne disease outbreaks.'

Not good.

And, as we mentioned, regularly cleaning a sponge doesn’t do much to get rid of bacteria. In fact, it could even make the sponge situation worse.

‘Regularly sanitized sponges did not contain fewer bacteria than uncleaned ones,’ say the researchers. ‘Moreover, “special cleaning” even increased the relative abundance of both the bacteria.

Presumably, resistant bacteria survive the sanitation process and rapidly re–colonize the released niches until reaching a similar abundance.

After how long do you change your dish sponge?

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