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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 11, 2016

Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Microbial Communities in Household Dishwashers in Germany

Qualitative und quantitative Analyse der mikrobiellen Gemeinschaften in Haushalts-Geschirrspülern in Deutschland
  • Britta Brands , Marlitt Honisch , Nadine Merettig , Sandra Bichler , Rainer Stamminger , Jörg Kinnius , Monika Seifert , Ingo Hardacker , Arnd Kessler , Mirko Weide , Noelle Wrubbel and Dirk P. Bockmühl


The proper cleaning of used dishes provides an essential means to maintain a sufficient hygiene level on food contact surfaces. However, little is known on the microbiological quality of domestic dishwashers themselves, especially in relation to consumer habits. This study investigated dishwashers in German households to analyse the number and composition of microbial colonisers and their putative impact on dishwashing hygiene. Although the microbiological status of dishwashers appeared to depend on multiple factors, data suggest that a trend towards lower temperatures might effect in a decreased hygiene.


Die adäquate Reinigung von benutztem Geschirr ist eine wichtige Maßnahme für die Hygiene von Lebensmittelkontaktoberflächen. Allerdings existieren nur wenige Daten zur mikrobiologischen Qualität von Haushaltsgeschirrspülern, insbesondere im Hinblick auf den Einfluss des Verbraucherverhaltens auf die mikrobielle Besiedlung der Geräte. Im Rahmen der vorliegenden Studie wurden Geschirrspüler in deutschen Haushalten untersucht, um Art und Anzahl der in den Geräten befindlichen Mikroorganismen und deren mögliche Auswirkungen auf die Hygiene des Geschirrspülens zu analysieren. Obwohl der mikrobiologische Status von Geschirrspülern durch viele Faktoren beeinflusst zu werden scheint, legen die erhaltenen Daten nahe, dass der Trend zu niedrigen Temperaturen die Hygiene negativ beeinflusst.

*Correspondence address, Prof. Dr. Dirk Bockmühl, Hygiene and Microbiology, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Marie-Curie-Str. 1, D-47533 Kleve. Tel.: +49 28 21 80 67 32 08, Fax: +49 28 21 80 67 34 42 08, E-Mail:

Britta Brands, Molecular Biologist, works as a scientist in the group of Prof. Bockmühl at the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.

Marlitt Honisch, Engineer, works as a scientist in the group of Prof. Bockmühl at the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.

Dr. Nadine Merettig, Microbiologist, works as a scientist at the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.

Dr. Sandra Bichler, Engineer in the group of Prof. Stamminger at the University of Bonn.

Prof. Dr. Rainer Stamminger, Engineer, works as a professor for Household and Appliance Technology at the University of Bonn.

Dr. Jörg Kinnius, Chemist, works in the R&D department of the Dishwashing unit at Miele & Cie.

Monika Seifert, Engineer, works in the R&D department of the Dishwashing unit at Miele & Cie.

Ingo Hardacker, Technician, works in the R&D department of the Laundry and Home Care unit at Henkel & Co. KGaA.

Arnd Kessler, Engineer, works in the R&D department of the Laundry and Home Care unit at Henkel & Co. KGaA.

Dr. Mirko Weide, Microbiologist, works in the R&D department of the Laundry and Home Care unit at Henkel & Co. KGaA.

Dr. Noelle Wrubbel, Chemist, works in the R&D department of the Laundry and Home Care unit at Henkel & Co. KGaA.

Prof. Dr. Dirk Bockmühl, Microbiologist, works as a professor for Hygiene and Microbiology at the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.


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Received: 2015-09-22
Accepted: 2015-12-04
Published Online: 2016-03-11
Published in Print: 2016-03-16

© 2016, Carl Hanser Publisher, Munich

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