Microorganisms from a variety of sources, including food and human contact, often enter home kitchens. Although several studies have reported on the bacterial composition of cleaning tools and surface samples, little is known about bacterial diversity across different sample types, households, and countries.
A new study identified the microbiota of 302 samples taken from cleaning tools (sponges and cloths) and kitchen surfaces in 74 households across five countries. As a result, it turns out that most of the bacteria prevalent in the kitchen are harmless.
The study sampled bacterial populations from kitchen cleaning tools such as sponges and dishcloths, as well as sinks, cutting boards, counter surfaces, handles, and sinks.
The researchers found eight bacterial genera that were frequently associated with environmental sources in the majority of the kitchens they studied, despite the large number of species present and large differences in bacterial diversity between samples. , called this the “core microbiome.” Among them were Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Enhydrobacter, Enterobacteriaceae, Cyclobacter, Chryseobacterium, Bacillus, and Staphylococcus.
These genera/families were among the relatively most abundant bacteria across all samples, with the exception of Yersiniaceae, Kocuria, Pantoea, and Streptococcus.
The core microbiota survived, the researchers said, despite large differences between research kitchens. Some kitchens lacked running water, indoor sinks, and dishwashers. Infection persisted despite differences in food preparation techniques, dietary preferences, and hand and kitchen hygiene practices, increasing the likelihood of infection.
Dr. Birgitte Moen, Scientist, Nofima Food Safety and Quality, Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ås, Norway. “This study was motivated by the authors’ curiosity. Bacteria in our food, gut, hospitals, and professional food production are well-studied, but little is known about the microbes that live in our home kitchens. Existing collaborations across countries gave us a unique opportunity to explore this.”
The crew was aware that different countries have different types of dangerous bacteria and that this is a common way for contaminated food to reach the kitchen. For example, salmonella is not a concern in Norway, even though it is the most frequently reported cause of food poisoning in continental Europe. Understanding the bacteria that live in the average household kitchen could help prevent disease and even lead to more hygienic kitchen designs and improved cleaning supplies, Moen said. It is said that there is.
- Birgitte Moen, Solveig Langsrud, Ingun Berget Mapping the kitchen microbiota of five other European countries reveals a set of core bacteria in each country, kitchen surfaces and cleaning tools. Applied and environmental microbiology. DOI: 10.1128/aem.00267-23