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Old 11-29-2005, 12:49 PM
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Any reason to think paper towels are sterile?

As I sit here eating lunch microwaved and served on a nice white paper towel, it occurs to me I've never seen or heard any promise that paper towels are sterile or even clean. Anybody know anything about the manufacturing process of paper towels and how clean you might expect them to be?

I fully expect the answer to be horrifying.
Old 11-29-2005, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by control-z
As I sit here eating lunch microwaved and served on a nice white paper towel, it occurs to me I've never seen or heard any promise that paper towels are sterile or even clean. Anybody know anything about the manufacturing process of paper towels and how clean you might expect them to be?

I fully expect the answer to be horrifying.
Well, I don't think it's that bad. No one is guaranteeing sterility, but considerable amounts of heat and bleaching agents are used in the preparation of paper goods. And the presses and rollers have to be kept reasonably clean, because no one likes finding dirt, twigs or insects pressed into their paper towels. Finally, the paper towels are very dry, so not a very hospitable environment for bacteria to breed.
Old 11-29-2005, 01:28 PM
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I was taught to spread paper towels as a "practically sterile" surface for drying condensation from prepared petri dishes. Never had much of a problem with contamination.

I think a microwaved burrito is going to be fine.
Old 11-29-2005, 01:43 PM
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Well I was thinking stuff like rodent hairs, droppings, bugs, etc. But maybe they're blended in and bleached enough that they don't make much difference, compared to what's in/on practically everything else we eat.
Old 11-29-2005, 01:49 PM
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Perhaps not sterile, but most likely sanitary.
Old 11-29-2005, 02:05 PM
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Well, I've been told that the most sterile thing you probably have lying around is an unopened newspaper, and if somebody to your great surprise gives birth in your car, that's the best thing to wrap the baby in. I imagine paper towels fresh off the roll would be similar?
Old 11-29-2005, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia
Well, I've been told that the most sterile thing you probably have lying around is an unopened newspaper, and if somebody to your great surprise gives birth in your car, that's the best thing to wrap the baby in. I imagine paper towels fresh off the roll would be similar?
A M E N !
That just about says it all.
Newpaper is the general nearly sterile sanitary drape/table covering/ etc. for delivering babies, emergency on the spot minor surgery etc. as practiced by public health personnel in times past in the big cities if not today.
The practice was mentioned ocassionaly by the big city newpapers in published stories.
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:21 PM
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Well, mine have never reproduced in spite of spending lots of time in the dark pantry in mixed company. I assume like with many species the ones with the colorful markings are the males, the plain ones the females.

::d&r::
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