We all know that there are bacteria and germs on all surfaces. And the one way we can prevent getting sick or spreading ‘germs’ is hand washing. But how many of us wash our hands throughout the day? Typically following the use of the bathroom, before eating or when our hands are visibly soiled. But New York Magazine’s Science of Us list of top 5 most bacteria infested everyday surfaces may have you reevaluating how often you may wash your hands;
Much to be surprised it isn’t the bathroom facilities that contain the most bacteria, “toilet seats are some of the cleanest places you touch every day because people make a conscious effort to clean them regularly”.
With self-checkout screens coming in at number 1.
Whether it be self service checkouts or ATM machines, these touch screens are regularly used day in day out by many different people. The touch screens are unlikely to be disinfected and generally only get a simple wipe down at the end of the day. According to Science of Us a horrifying “50 per cent of self-checkout screens are contaminated with faecal matter”.
At Number 2 we have the ground-floor lift buttons.
Every person who enters a lift will generally need to push the ground floor at some point to exit the building. The Magazine states that “Parainfluenza, a virus that causes cold-like symptoms, is especially common on this button”. – Maybe have a bottle of hand sanitizer handy.
Number 3 – Coffeepot handles
Many work places have a communal coffee pot, and we all know many of us need that fix first thing in the morning. This means that whatever we may have touched before we got to work, including public toilets, public transport, and handrails is now transported onto that coffeepot handle. “50 per cent of coffeepot handles contain coliform bacteria, which is an indicator of fecal matter.”
Number 4 – Re-usable bags
As part of being more environmentally friendly, we are commonly using reusable shopping bags. However, not so friendly germs are being harvested on these bags as people rarely clean them, and often raw food is carried in them. “According to Science of US, 99 per cent of bags carry bacteria such as coliform and E.coli.”
Lastly at number 5 – Hand towels
Many people are guilty of not washing our hands efficiently and then drying them on a hand towel or tea towel. This consequently means we are transferring that bacterium onto the towel. Bacteria thrives in moist places, making hand towels the ideal host for growing more bacteria, it is recommended that all towels should be washed every two days.