advertisement
Updated 15 August 2014

Germs lurk in office kitchens

Office kitchens are germ "hotspots," and sink and microwave handles in these areas are the dirtiest surfaces touched by office workers on a daily basis, according to a new study.

2

Office kitchens and break rooms are germ "hotspots," and sink and microwave handles in these areas are the dirtiest surfaces touched by office workers on a daily basis, according to a new study.

Researchers collected nearly 5 000 individual swabs over six months from office buildings with more than 3 000 employees. The offices included law firms, call centers and manufacturing, health care and insurance companies.

Where the most germs lurk

High levels of germ contamination were found on 75% of break-room faucet handles, 48% of microwave handles, 27% of keyboards, 26% of refrigerator handles, 23% of water fountain buttons and 21% of vending machine buttons.

The Kimberly-Clark study was conducted in consultation with Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Kimberly-Clark makes cleaning products.

"A lot of people are aware of the risk of germs in the restroom, but areas like break rooms have not received the same degree of attention," Gerba said in a Kimberly-Clark news release. "This study demonstrates that contamination can be spread throughout the workplace when office workers heat up lunch, make coffee or simply type on their keyboards."

Read more:
The germs in your car

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains how to stop the spread of germs at home, school and work.


(Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Choose wisely... »

Healthy diet may extend kidney patients' lives Healthy diet protects teens against later weight gain

Finding the right diet for you

With so many fad diets out there, it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction. Dietitian Mpho Tshukudu gives advice on how to find and follow the right diet.

Decor danger! »

Sick building syndrome FAQ: Sick building syndrome What is sick building syndrome?

Your wallpaper might be making you sick

Fungus growing on wallpaper might contribute to 'sick building syndrome', causing symptoms similar to flu and allergies.