Posted 7:08 AM 5/28/2012 : Can you guess the germiest places around the office?
TUCSON- Next time you head to the office break room to grab a bite to eat, you may want to think twice about what you touch. A University of Arizona microbiologist recently revealed the most germ-infested places around the office.
Microbiologist Charles Gerba conducted the study with Kimberly Clark Professional.
"Every time you bring your fingers to your face it's an opportunity to catch a cold, flu or diarrhea," Gerba says.
News 4 Tucson set out across campus to see which places people think have the most bacteria. Many said the bathroom, or door handles.
They're typical answers, but here's what Gerba found from least germy to most: vending machine buttons, water fountain handles, the fridge door handle, computer keyboards, the microwave door handle, and topping the list is the break room sink. "It's wet, moist and things can grow particularly well in dish cloths and sponges," Gerba says. "Every time you think you're wiping something clean, you're spreading germs around."
Basically, the office break room is full of bacteria. "What's the first thing most people do when they go to work? They go get a cup of coffee," Gerba says. "So if they have a cold or the flu, they leave a real trail of germs behind them on the microwave door handle, the countertops, and on the refrigerator door handle."
Gerba says a virus can spread through an entire office with 3,000 employees, in just two to four hours.
"A lot of our waking day, eight hours a day, is spent in the office and we don't bring those same hygiene habits we use at home into the office," Gerba says. That means washing your hands five to six times a day and wiping down your area with disinfectants.
To read more about the study head to www.uanews.org/node/47381
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