Environmental Hazards, Science

“Germiest” Places in Town

Germs can live for up to 18 hours on hard surfaces.
Image: Shutterstock

Germs are everywhere.  How many objects do you think you touch in a minute?  A survey showed that an average adult touches up to 30.  That includes cell phone screens, doorknobs, remote controls, etc.  Those are all at home, but what about once you go out into the wide world?  There are many places for germs to hide.

Here is a list of some top places germs like to live.  They are on restaurant menus, lemon wedges, condiment dispensers, soap dispensers, grocery carts, restroom door handles, airplane bathrooms and the doctor’s office. Notice that they are all areas in which the public comes in contact. Let’s consider a few.

Number one on the list is restaurant menus.  Some restaurants are very good about cleaning the floors, surfaces and napkins.  However, it seems exceedingly rare to see menus go through the wash.  They would have to laminate them for that to happen.  Most are of the paper variety the public touches every day.  

door handle
Restroom door handles are among the top places germs like to live.
Image: Shutterstock

“A study in the Journal of Medical Virology reported that cold and flu viruses can survive for 18 hours on hard surfaces. If it’s a popular restaurant, hundreds of people could be handling the menus—and passing their germs on to you. Never let a menu touch your plate or silverware, and wash your hands after you place your order.”

A place that most forget about is the lemon wedge atop your drink glass.  Maybe it’s because all the servers reach in and touch the fruit each time they serve it, they end up extra germy.

Here’s one we all think about.  It’s the bathroom door handle.  It’s one of the worst since most people don’t wash their hands. What’s the solution?  Use an extra paper towel to open the door after washing your hands.  Even if others think you are a little too OCD, at least you won’t get sick.


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