What’s the germiest item in the office? According to Mark Searcy, a divisional manager of Coverall North America, Inc. a commercial cleaning service, it’s the faucet handles in the kitchen and break room. Surprised? We were, too.
That’s why we contacted Dr. Jesse Miller, Director of the Applied Research Center, NSF International, and University of Arizona microbiologist, Dr. Charles Gerba, to tell us what other germ-magnets are lurking in the workplace.
Germ hotspot #1: The Break Room
According to NSF International, germs thrive in moist and warm environments, that’s why the following kitchen and break room items topped the list as hot beds for yeast, mold and bacteria.
NSF germ studies found coliform bacteria, an indicator of fecal contamination, in 50% of the coffee reservoirs of coffee makers. That’s the last thing you want in your coffee!
The fix: Wash your hands before preparing coffee. Also, make sure to flush the reservoir with white distilled vinegar once a week, recommends Coverall North America. And don’t forget to wash and dry the coffee pot, especially the handle, every day.
200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat, sponges and dish rags are tiny hotbeds for kitchen germs.
The fix: Run, don’t walk, to the office sponge/dish rag, toss it in the trash and replace it with paper towels pronto!
Sinks in the kitchen and bathroom are usually badly neglected. In fact, NSF found 45% had coliform and other bacteria.
The fix: Keep germs from overpopulating by cleaning the sink with a disinfecting wipe, like Clorox or Lysol, daily or as often as possible.
Because of contact with food, kitchen faucet handles have more germs than faucet handles in the bathroom. But they both pass along germs every time you turn on and off the tap.
The fix: Use a paper towel to turn faucets. Also, cut the germ-breeding cycle by wiping faucet handles with a disinfecting wipe first thing in the morning.
Between food prep debris and splashes from the sink, more than 32% of countertops tested harbored coliform bacteria.
The fix: Clean the counter after each use and wipe with a disinfecting wipe every morning.