Office teabags contain 17 times more germs than a toilet seat, reveals study

You might want to rethink your afternoon cuppa

Sabrina Barr
Monday 11 December 2017 13:21 GMT
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Office teabags can carry as many as 17 times more germs than a toilet seat, scientists have discovered.

A study carried out by the Initial Washroom Hygiene came across these staggering results by analysing the bacterial readings of kitchen utensils and appliances.

The average bacterial reading of an office teabag was 3,785, in comparison to only 220 for a toilet seat.

Other pieces of kitchen equipment also stacked up highly in their findings, with the bacterial readings averaging at 2,483 on kettle handles, 1,746 on the rim of a used mug and 1,592 on a fridge door handle.

Many of us wouldn’t think to wash our hands after simply opening the fridge door or before making a brew… but perhaps we should.

A poll of 1,000 workers revealed that 80 per cent of people working in an office wouldn’t think to wash their hands before making drinks for colleagues.

Just think of the sheer amount of germs flying around the office while you sit at your desk obliviously sipping an Earl Grey.

Dr Peter Barratt of Initial Washroom Hygiene believes that offices should be more aware of the levels of hygiene in their communal kitchens.

“If you stop to think about the number of different hands that touch things such as the kettle handle, tea bag box lid, mugs, and so on, the potential for cross contamination really adds up,” he explains.

“Using anti-bacterial wipes on kitchen surfaces and regularly cleaning your mug can pay huge dividends in terms of maintaining a healthy workforce.”

It’s especially important to be wary of germs during this time of year.

Norovirus, commonly referred to as the “winter vomiting bug”, has been known to spread rapidly by touching contaminated surfaces or eating foods that are rife with bacteria.

Taking precautions such as washing your hands frequently, disinfecting surfaces and washing clothing that could be at risk of contamination could save you from falling ill this winter

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