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Recent Study Reveals More Germs Are Found in the Kitchen than Bathroom

EMSL Analytical provides environmental testing services to identify E. coli and Salmonella to protect people from foodborne illnesses.

CInnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

A recent study determines what items in your home have the most germs. The results showed more fecal bacteria in your kitchen sink than in the toilet after a flush.

A study from the US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, stated that E. coli bioaerosol remained airborne for at least four to six hours after the flush. Your bath towels, hand towels and bar soaps are being spattered with bacteria post-flush. E. coli quickly grows on wet and moist towels, so within about three or four days you’ll most likely get fecal bacteria in the towel.

Even though bacteria can spread quickly in the bathroom, the kitchen is still found to have more bacteria since we prepare foods that can spread Salmonella and E. coli. Recent surveys of homes found more fecal bacteria on a cutting board in the average home than on a toilet seat.

After testing and analysis in both the kitchen and bathroom, the household item that carries the most germs is the kitchen sponge/rag, since any wiping of the sink, surrounding counters and cutting boards are done with the sponge or rag. A 2017 study found 362 different species of bacteria living in used kitchen sponges.

The National Science Foundation found 36% of tested refrigerator meat compartments, can openers and blender gaskets contained both Salmonella and E. coli, 36% of vegetable compartments in the refrigerator tested positive for Salmonella and 36% of rubber spatulas and pizza cutters tested positive for E. coli. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reported that 20% of all foodborne illness starts with food consumed in the home.

“Bleaching or replacing sponges at least once a week and changing towels every three or four days can minimize bacteria growth,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we test for many microbial pathogens. Our scientists offer cutting-edge testing to identify Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria and other microbial contaminants. Rapid testing methods from EMSL can facilitate the process of quickly pinpointing a source to prevent further contamination or illnesses.”

To learn more about SalmonellaE. coli or other food and environmental testing services, please visit or, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 E. Coli
 Foodborne Illness

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