The Filthiest Place in Your Office is Not Where You Think

Healthy Living
May 10, 2013
The filthiest places in the office include keyboards, fridge handles and the break room sink.
The filthiest places in the office include keyboards, fridge handles and the break room sink.

Yesterday, you may have taken judgmental note that your colleague Steve didn't wash his hands on his way out of the bathroom, but it turns out the bathroom's not even the filthiest place at the office. Yes, indeed, a new study has found that there are far worse bacteria-infested areas in the workplace.

Research led by Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, swabbed 4,800 different workplace surfaces while testing for adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a common molecule found in bacteria and mold cells. An ATP score of 100 or less was considered clean, but if it reached 300 or more, it was considered porno casting-couch dirty.

So what were the filthiest spots? The break room sink faucet was at the top of the list, with 75% of them being deemed bacteria-covered. And that sponge you use to wipe down your plates and forks before using it? Most are chock full of E. coli.

Not far behind were microwave door handles -- 48% had scores over 300 -- followed by keyboards, refrigerator handles and water fountain buttons.

Keep that in mind the next time you get your food out of the work fridge, pop it in the microwave, rinse your cutlery and then eat while typing away. Not washing your hands after touching the toilet's got nothin' on that.

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