BACTERIA ON STAINLESS KITCHENWARE CAN DOUBLE IN 20 MINUTES
Contrary to popular notion that stainless steel products are safer and more durable than others, experts reminded the public that stainless steel kitchenware, just like any other kitchenware, are not 100% safe, and are also prone to bacterial build up.
Stainless steel kitchenware are often found in several households due to the beliefs that it is more durable and more capable of preventing rust.
According to Dr. Windell Rivera, a microbiologist, kitchenware which are not well-maintained can be attacked by bacteria such as E.coli, campylobacter, salmonella, and staphylococcus. These bacteria are known to cause food poisoning, diarrhea, dysentery, or vomiting if ingested.
Rivera adds that these bacteria can be vegetative, capable of multiplying at a fast pace.
"Yung typical na microorganism like yung bacteria… in 20 minutes, yung isa mo magiging dalawa, dalawa another 20 minutes, magiging apat yan (A typical microorganism like bacteria can double its number in about 20 minutes. That means that within 20 minutes, a bacterium can double, and in another 20 minutes, the number can quadruple)."
Rivera also adds that there is also a possibility for these bacteria to produce spores, which could thrive in stainless steel longer than usual.
"Ang typical na mikrobyo na pwede magtransform into spore ay yung bacillus. Ito yung pwedeng matagal doon sa steel for a month or more than that. (The typical microbe that can transform into a spore is the bacillus. This can thrive in steel for a month or even longer)."
In extreme cases, Rivera says it is possible for microorganisms in stainless steel to cause neurological effects on humans and may even manifest as paralysis. This could be caused by toxins produced by the microorganisms.
A study by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry also adds that stainless steel kitchenware could be prone to leaching, a chemical reaction where a solid breaks down into small liquid particles. Depending on stainless steel grade, cooking time, and cookware usage, this could be hazardous if chemical properties of the steel container mixes and reacts with food.
To avoid contracting diseases, experts advise the public to always keep the kitchen, and kitchenware, clean.
Oftentimes, microorganisms transfer to plates and food through improper kitchen practices, or through cross-contamination of germs from a dirty kitchen implements. Frequent and proper washing of kitchenware is advised.