Germ Warfare: The Least Hygienic Places You Go

We’re just coming out of a really tough winter that saw record numbers of people becoming ill from a variety of disease vectors.  Although we Suddenly Solos are a pretty hearty bunch of folks, none of us likes to get sick.  So, as a heads-up, here are five of the most germ-ridden locales that you may likely encounter, as researched by Lifescript:

Grocery /Shopping Stores – Shopping cart handles and child seats are major breeding areas. About 70%-80% of the shopping carts tested nationwide had E. coli, says Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a University of Arizona microbiologist who spends a lot of time studying germs in public places.  Use the wipes that most of these places supply and wipe down the offending areas.

Children’s Playgrounds – If you go with your grandkids, take plenty of hand sanitizer for the both of you.  It takes a good 20 seconds of hand-wringing to adequately disinfect you.

Public Restrooms – Duh!  But it is the sink, with its usually wet handles, that is the major breeding ground for bacteria.  Be especially cautious of airplane bathrooms. Use a paper towel to turn off the water.

Offices – Look out for telephones and desks. In a study of 113 work surfaces in offices in five of the nation’s big cities, more than 25,000 bacteria were found on telephones. Desks and computer keyboards followed close behind.  Wipe down your environs daily. In fact, your desk has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat, Gerba says. Why? People don’t disinfect surfaces in offices, he says.

Restaurants – Most “tablecloth” dining is fine. Contaminated food isn’t the biggest threat at restaurants – it’s the rag used to wipe down hard-top surfaces like those found in a fast-food table or a diner.   When busboys wipe down a table or chairs, their dirty rags may be spreading a small film of E. coli.  High chairs are also especially suspect.  Again, bring wipes and use them!

For the complete list, visit www.lifescript.com.

 

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