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Reducing bacteria in household sponges

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  • Natural Formulas

Abstract

A used sponge contains bacteria that multiply rapidly under favorable conditions. Usually, nutrients and moisture in the sponge are sufficient to support growth of these micro-organisms. Successive use of the same dirty sponge can transfer bacteria from one surface to another during the 'cleaning' process. To minimize the potential spread of bacteria, sponges should be decontaminated regularly. In this study, several physical and chemical decontamination methods were evaluated. Heating a contaminated sponge for one minute in a microwave over or boiling a sponge in water for five minutes resulted in a more than 99.9 percent reduction in the number of bacteria. Soaking contaminated sponges for five minutes in a solution of bleach or a cleaner that contains a quaternary ammonium compound also resulted in a more than 99.9 percent reduction of bacteria. Other products such as hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, ammonia, and vinegar were effective in reducing the bacterial load in laboratory-inoculated sponges but not in consumer-used sponges, which contained a higher concentration of bacteria.
Copyright © 1999. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1999. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1999. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1999. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1999. All rights reserved.
... Sponges collected from consumers can contain high bacterial numbers, in the range of 6-9 log CFU, (Evans and Redmond, 2019;Hilton and Austin, 2000;Ikawa and Rossen, 1999;Rossi et al., 2013). A wide diversity of non-pathogenic and opportunistic pathogenic bacteria as well as viruses, Archeae and Eukaryota have been found in used sponges (Cardinale et al., 2017;Jacksch et al., 2020). ...
... Cleaning or disinfection of cleaning utensils may be a way to control the bacterial contamination and limit further spreading in the kitchen environment and will also lead to reduce waste as the utensils will have a longer lifetime. There are several studies on cleaning and disinfection of sponges (Ikawa and Rossen, 1999;Park et al., 2006;Sharma et al., 2009), but to our knowledge no studies on kitchen brushes. Addition of hypochlorite or dish washing detergents to sponges have been reported to reduce the bacterial levels by 1.5-5 log CFU (Ikawa and Rossen, 1999;Nielsen et al., 2002;Rusin et al., 1998), but some studies report that the antibacterial effect is quenched by the presence of food soil (Kusumaningrum et al., 2002;Sharma et al., 2009). ...
... There are several studies on cleaning and disinfection of sponges (Ikawa and Rossen, 1999;Park et al., 2006;Sharma et al., 2009), but to our knowledge no studies on kitchen brushes. Addition of hypochlorite or dish washing detergents to sponges have been reported to reduce the bacterial levels by 1.5-5 log CFU (Ikawa and Rossen, 1999;Nielsen et al., 2002;Rusin et al., 1998), but some studies report that the antibacterial effect is quenched by the presence of food soil (Kusumaningrum et al., 2002;Sharma et al., 2009). Sharma et al. (2009), reported that the use of dishwasher or 1 min treatment in microwave oven reduced the bacterial levels on sponges by >5 log or 6 log, respectively. ...
Article
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Sponges are frequently used in kitchens and have been shown to harbor large numbers of bacteria, occasionally also pathogens. Less is known about kitchen brushes regarding usage and presence of bacteria. In the present study, the use of sponges and brushes was studied in a survey among 9966 European consumers in ten countries, and growth and survival of bacteria in sponges and brushes were examined in laboratory experiments. Sponges were the preferred hand-cleaning utensils for washing-up in the majority of countries, while brushes were most frequently used in Denmark and Norway. Consumers mostly change their sponges at regular times, but also sensory cues (looks dirty, smelly, slimy) and usage occurrences such as wiping up meat juices may trigger replacement. Besides cleaning the dishes, over a quarter of the dish brush users also use it to clean a chopping board after soilage from chicken meat juices. The water uptake and drying rate varied considerably, both between different sponges and between brushes and sponges, where brushes dried fastest. Campylobacter survived one day in all sponges and Salmonella more than seven days in two of three types of sponges. In the type of sponge that dried slowest, Salmonella grew on the first day and was always found in higher levels than in the other sponges. Non-pathogenic bacteria grew in the sponges and reached levels around 9 log CFU/sponge. In brushes all types of bacteria died over time. Campylobacter and Salmonella were reduced by more than 2.5 log to below the detection limit after one and three days, respectively. Bacteriota studies revealed a tendency for a dominance by Gram-negative bacteria and a shift to high relative prevalence of Pseudomonas over time in sponges. Both enumeration by agar plating and bacteriota analysis confirmed that the pathogens were in a minority compared to the other bacteria. Treatments of sponges and brushes with chlorine, boiling or in the dishwasher were effective to reduce Salmonella. We conclude that brushes are more hygienic than sponges and that their use should be encouraged. Contaminated sponges or brushes should be replaced or cleaned when they may have been in contact with pathogenic microorganisms, e.g. used on raw food spills. Cleaning of sponges and brushes with chlorine, boiling or dishwasher may be a safe alternative to replacing them with new ones.
... To control and reduce the microbial load in kitchen sponges, many different sanitization and cleaning procedures have been proposed [13,14], including microwaving or cleaning in a domestic dishwasher or washing machine [15][16][17][18]. Ikawa and colleagues [15] and Sharma and colleagues [17] evaluated the efficacy of different sponge cleaning methods by measuring the reduction of the microbial load in artificially contaminated samples. ...
... To control and reduce the microbial load in kitchen sponges, many different sanitization and cleaning procedures have been proposed [13,14], including microwaving or cleaning in a domestic dishwasher or washing machine [15][16][17][18]. Ikawa and colleagues [15] and Sharma and colleagues [17] evaluated the efficacy of different sponge cleaning methods by measuring the reduction of the microbial load in artificially contaminated samples. Both confirmed that microwave treatment is an effective and simple method to drastically reduce the bacterial load of kitchen sponges by five to seven log-scales [15,17]. ...
... Ikawa and colleagues [15] and Sharma and colleagues [17] evaluated the efficacy of different sponge cleaning methods by measuring the reduction of the microbial load in artificially contaminated samples. Both confirmed that microwave treatment is an effective and simple method to drastically reduce the bacterial load of kitchen sponges by five to seven log-scales [15,17]. ...
Article
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Kitchen sponges massively absorb and spread microorganisms, leading to contamination of kitchen appliances, surfaces, and food. Microwaving as an effective and widespread technique can rapidly reduce the microbial load of kitchen sponges. However, long-term effects of such treatments are largely unknown. Notably, it has been speculated that regularly applied domestic cleaning and disinfection may select for microbial communities with a higher pathogenic potential and/or malodorous properties. In this study, we distributed newly purchased polyurethane kitchen sponges to 20 participants, with the instruction to use them under normal household conditions for four weeks. Ten of the participants sanitized their sponges regularly by a standardized microwaving protocol, while the remaining ten sponges remained untreated. Metagenomic sequence data evaluation indicated that, in addition to bacteria, viruses, eukaryotes, and archaea were also part of the kitchen sponge microbiome. Comparisons of sanitized and untreated kitchen sponges indicated a trend towards a reduced structural microbial diversity while functional diversity increased. Microwave sanitization appeared to alter composition and metabolic properties of the microbial communities. Follow-up studies will have to show whether these changes are more positive or negative in terms of domestic hygiene, human health, and well-being.
... Spons adalah sumber kontaminasi utama karena dapat terjadi kontaminasi silang menularkan patogen bawaan makanan dan mikroorganisme yang mengalami pembusukan pada sisa makanan. (8) (9) Bakteri pathogen yang tumbuh pada spons dapur seperti Eschericia coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella pneumonia dan Enterobacter. ...
... Spons yang terkontaminasi dapat mengkontaminasi peralatan makan, sehingga menyebabkan penularan penyakit bawaan makanan. (4) (8) Spons yang tidak memenuhi syarat dan digunakan dalam pencucian peralatan makan dapat menyebabkan kontaminasi pada makanan yang disajikan. Sebanyak 80% bakteri S.aureus terdapat pada spons cuci piring. ...
Article
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Peralatan makan yang tidak hygiene dapat menyebabkan penularan penyakit. Peralatan makan dapat terbebas dari mikroorganisme melalui proses pencucian. Pencucian peralatan makan menggunakan perangkat lunak dan keras, seperti . Perangkat lunak seperti air dan larutan pencucian, sedangkan perangkat keras seperti baskom, kran air, bak pencucian dan spons. Kebiasaan meninggalkan spons dalam air cucian mengakibatkan pertumbuhan mikroorganisme. Bahan spons berpori dapat menjadi sumber kontaminasi utama, karena kontaminasi silang menularkan mikroba patogen yang berasal dari sisa makanan yang mengalami pembusukan pada sisa makanan. Penelitian ini bertujuan mengetahui jumlah angka kuman pada spon dapur yang digunakan untuk mencuci alat makan. Jenis penelitian deskriptif, pemeriksaan angka kuman pada spons berdasarkan frekuensi pemakaian dan penyimpanan. Kriteria sampel adalah spon yang digunakan rumah tangga setelah penggunaan dicuci dan dikeringkan, setelah penggunaan di cuci dan tidak dikeringkan, setelah penggunaan tidak di cuci dan dikeringkan serta spons setelah digunakan tidak dicuci dan tidak di keringkan. Sampel diambil dan ditumbuhkan pada media agar, selanjutnya di inkubasi pada incubator. Penelitian dilakukan di laboratorium Jurusan Kesehatan Lingkungan. Hasil penelitian jumlah angka kuman pada spons dapur berbeda berdasarkan perlakuan. Spons dapur yang dicuci dan di keringkan setelah penggunaan mempunyai kandungan angka kuman lebih rendah dibandingkan dengan spons dapur yang tidak di cuci dan tidak dikeringkan setelah penggunaan. Sehingga disarankan spon setelah digunakan harus dicuci dan dikeringkan untuk memperlambat pertumbuhan bakteri serta mengganti spons cuci piring seminggu sekali.
... However, Norwegian consumers reportedly used brushes more often than sponges for such purposes, which probably leads to less usage of the sponges than in Portugal. There are several other studies from other countries (Brazil, Netherlands, UK) on bacterial levels in used kitchen sponges with a reported bacterial count in the range 6-9 log (Hilton & Austin, 2000;Ikawa & Rossen, 1999;Kusumaningrum et al., 2002;Rossi et al., 2013), meaning that the levels in the present Portuguese study were higher than in other studies. However, as very limited information about the use of the sponges was provided in the other studies, it is not known why higher bacterial numbers were observed in the Portuguese sponges.Virtually, no consumer practices investigated had a significant effect on the bacterial numbers in sponges or brushes when analysed at the point of delivery. ...
Article
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Aims: The purpose of the work was to investigate bacterial levels and diversity as well as survival of Salmonella in used dish washing sponges and brushes and identify consumer practices that can potentially explain bacterial status of these items. Methods and results: Used washing up utensils were collected from consumers. The bacterial numbers (TVC) were very variable with an extremely high median level (10.3 log cfu/item) in Portuguese sponges and lower levels in Norwegian items (7.3 and 7.0 cfu/item for sponges and brushes). No self-reported practices or household composition could explain differences found in TVC levels among the collected sponges. Lower mean TVC levels were found in unworn brushes and brushes regularly cleaned with soap, but the differences were modest (1.5 log or less). A common set of bacteria was found in brushes and sponges, dominated by Acinetobacter, Chryseobacterium, Enhydrobacter, Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas. There was no difference in TVC or bacterial diversity between conventional and antimicrobial sponges containing silver after four weeks of use. For used brushes inoculated with Salmonella and allowed to dry overnight, a significant reduction in Salmonella numbers was observed. No reduction was observed for brushes stored humid (in a plastic bag) or for sponges regardless of storing conditions. Conclusions: Overall, lower bacterial levels were observed in used brushes than in sponges, and Salmonella died more rapidly in brushes. A common set of non-pathogenic bacteria dominated in brushes and sponges. Significance and impact of study: The study demonstrates that the use of brushes may be more hygienic than the use of sponges.
... The optimum conditions for growth of foodborne pathogens include an aerobic, wet, room temperature environment (Ikawa & Rossen, 1999). Hilton and Austin (2000) believe that the kitchen dishcloth meets the criteria of a fomite to harbour and transfer pathogenic bacteria from the cloth to kitchen surfaces and food. ...
Article
The domestic dishcloth has been shown to be the most contaminated item in the domestic kitchen, reported to contain up to 10 ⁸ 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.
... The specimens that had been sterilized by microwave oven were placed in water during microwave exposure to produce a uniform heating of specimens which was considered to be adequate to kill organisms even within pores of the materials (12,14) . Others suggested that wetting of materials before microwave irradiation to obtain more effective disinfection (30) . ...
Article
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Aims: To evaluate the ability of commercial denture cleanser on decreasing Candida albicans biofilm and comparing this with microwave sterilization technique on heat cured acrylic resin denture base material which was cured by two different techniques. Materials and Methods: thirty two samples of heat cured acrylic resin denture base material had been used, half of them was cured by conventional water bath technique, and the other half by microwave technique. A simple method to measure Candida biofilm activity using pH change of Stomastat. Modified Sabouraud broth developed and used to evaluate the efficacy of the following denture cleansers: Chlorhexidine 0.2% and sodium hypochlorite 0.5%, and microwave sterilization on Candida albicans biofilm. The initial number of yeasts inocu-lated was correlated with pH value of Stomastat after 24 hours incubation period. Results: The acrylic resin samples that cured by conventional water bath technique were most effectively disinfected by chlorhexidine 0.2%. This demonstrated by increasing the pH value of Stomastat significantly than the control group. The same result was obtained with those samples which were cured by microwave oven. The initial number of Candida albicans cells in Stomastat was significantly decreased than the control group after treatment of acrylic samples with denture cleansers and microwave sterilization technique, while for those samples that cured by microwave technique the least number was obtained after treatment with chlorhexidine 0.2%. Conclusion: Both of chlorhexidine 0.2% and sodium hypochlorite 0.5% and microwave technique had the ability to disinfect acrylic samples that cured by water bath and microwave techniques effectively. However, chlorhexidine 0.2% was the most effective one.
... The specimens that had been sterilized by microwave oven were placed in water during microwave exposure to produce a uniform heating of specimens which was considered to be adequate to kill organisms even within pores of the materials (12,14) . Others suggested that wetting of materials before microwave irradiation to obtain more effective disinfection (30) . ...
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Aims: To evaluate the ability of commercial denture cleanser on decreasing Candida albicans biofilm and comparing this with microwave sterilization technique on heat cured acrylic resin denture base material which was cured by two different techniques. Materials and Methods: thirty two samples of heat cured acrylic resin denture base material had been used, half of them was cured by conventional water bath technique, and the other half by microwave technique. A simple method to measure Candida biofilm activity using pH change of Stomastat. Modified Sabouraud broth developed and used to evaluate the efficacy of the following denture cleansers: Chlorhexidine 0.2% and sodium hypochlorite 0.5%, and microwave sterilization on Candida albicans biofilm. The initial number of yeasts inocu-lated was correlated with pH value of Stomastat after 24 hours incubation period. Results: The acrylic resin samples that cured by conventional water bath technique were most effectively disinfected by chlorhexidine 0.2%. This demonstrated by increasing the pH value of Stomastat significantly than the control group. The same result was obtained with those samples which were cured by microwave oven. The initial number of Candida albicans cells in Stomastat was significantly decreased than the control group after treatment of acrylic samples with denture cleansers and microwave sterilization technique, while for those samples that cured by microwave technique the least number was obtained after treatment with chlorhexidine 0.2%. Conclusion: Both of chlorhexidine 0.2% and sodium hypochlorite 0.5% and microwave technique had the ability to disinfect acrylic samples that cured by water bath and microwave techniques effectively. However, chlorhexidine 0.2% was the most effective one.
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