LifeLife feature

The Germiest Public Surfaces We Touch Everyday

Pattern of many small shopping carts on a violet background. Minimalism flat lay top view.

As we all aim to do our part to slow the spread of Coronavirus, ensuring that our hands are clean is a top priority. Public areas are, of course, hotspots for germs. And while not all germs are harmful, the presence of high volumes of germs on a surface shows that it is capable of holding onto those that do spread contagious viruses. Here are some of the less thought of surfaces that we touch every day that have proven to carry a surprising amount of germs.

Grocery Stores

Supermarket surfaces test positive for bacteria from both humans and, of course, produce. This comes from a study by EMLab P&K in Ohio, who tested over 100 supermarkets, varying in price points. They found shopping carts to be the dirtiest surface in a supermarket. Some store’s carts reported bacteria levels that were 270 times higher than the average toilet handle.


Airport Security Bins

Most of us aren’t in airports every day, but millions of people are at least once a year. A study published in BMC Infectious Diseases found that the dirtiest surface you’ll encounter in those crowded airports is actually the security trays, which are full of cold and flu bacteria.


Gas Station Pump Handles

Using a gas station requires us to push some buttons and of course, the handle of the gas pump. Despite the high volume of people who will do this every day, these surfaces rarely get sanitized. Multiple studies have found, including one by the Kimberley-Clark Corporation, that gas station pumps have (on average) over 11,000 times more bacteria than the surface of your household toilet. That’s a lot of bacteria.



Condiment Dispensers

While restaurants have high standards for cleanliness, tabletop ketchup holders, salt shakers and even menus are rarely wiped down between customers throughout the day, making it all too easy for germs to travel from one person to another during dinner time.









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