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Pediatría (Asunción)

versão On-line ISSN 1683-9803


ZARATE, Noemí; COWAN, Clyde; ROMAN, Christian  e  LOMBARDO, Gonzalo. Bacterial contamination of Sponges used for Washing and Kitchen Sinks in School Cafeterias in Asunción and Greater Asunción area Schools. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2020, vol.47, n.2, pp.94-99. ISSN 1683-9803.


Sponges and the sink are a favorable medium for microorganism growth.


To evaluate the presence of microorganisms in washing sponges and kitchen sinks in school cafeterias in Asunción and Greater Asunción.

Materials and Methods:

This was a descriptive, observational and cross-sectional study. Samples were taken by swabbing from washing sponges and kitchen sinks from 25 public and private school cafeterias in Asunción and the Greater Asunción area. Culture media were used for aerobic mesophilic and fecal coliform bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella species. The presence of ≥100 CFU for mesophilic aerobic bacteria and any growth of pathogenic bacteria was considered contamination. The analysis was performed with Microsoft Excel using descriptive statistics.


11 private and 14 public institutions were included. 88% (22/25 of the sponges presented high contamination with aerobic mesophilic bacteria; 20 (80%) with fecal coliforms and 1 (4%) was sterile. Sink swabs: 21 (84%) presented high contamination with mesophylls and 20 (80%) with fecal coliforms, 1 (4%) was sterile. No Salmonella species or Staphylococcus aureus was isolated. There were no differences in the contamination of sinks between public or private institutions, but in sponges, 14/14 (public) were contaminated vs 6/11 (private), p = 0.008 (T Fisher).


kitchen sponges and sinks from the schools of Asuncion and Greater Asuncion area in this study presented a high percentage of bacterial contamination with both aerobic mesophilic bacteria and fecal coliforms. No Staphylococcus aureus or Salmonella species were isolated.

Palavras-chave : Contamination, foodborne illness; bacteria; foods; transmission.

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