Stop Washing Up!

It often causes an argument over who's turn it is to do it, but could doing the washing up make you ill as well?

A new report has found that 40 percent of our washing up bowls are harbouring bacteria, even though 74 percent of the ones tested were visibly clean.

A further 80% of tea towels and dishcloths failed a hygiene test with no households using water at the recommended 60 degrees Celsius.

The research has been done by who say the only way to be really safe is to use a dishwasher. If you can't they've put together these tips with the help of Dr Lisa Ackerley, one of the Uk's leading food safety experts.

“We will always use the washing up bowl for a number of different things, but I have to put the items I use to prepare food and eat with such as plates, cutlery and chopping boards into a dishwasher because that way I know that they will be hygienically cleaned. However until you are ready to get a dishwasher, here are some top tips to improve your washing up habits:

  • Washing up water should be as high a temperature as possible – wear gloves to protect your hands
  • Remember just washing up in your bowl isn’t actually ‘cleaning’ it! Sanitise the washing up bowl after washing bins, dog bowls and other non-dishware items
  • Clean cloths, scourers and washing up brushes regularly – if particles of food are left, bacteria will thrive – letting them air dry also helps
  • Ideally use fresh tea towels each time you wash up and provide a distinctive separate hand towel for drying hands
  • Wash tea towels and cloths at temperatures above 60 C and do not mix with other items in the washing machine that are likely to be contaminated (e.g underwear)
  • Use an anti-bacterial spray to sanitise tap handles regularly and always after preparing raw food.
  • If you have prepared raw meat, poultry or vegetables, always use an anti-bacterial spray to kill harmful bacteria on chopping boards and knives such asE. coli, Salmonella or Campylobacter which may not be destroyed by washing up by hand.