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June 18th, 2012
Five Germ-Covered Things You Might Encounter Today

By now, you've probably heard how gross your cell phone is:  In one recent study done in Northern Ireland, almost ALL the cell phones they tested had bacteria growing on them.  And so did almost all the OFFICE phones they checked.

--Forbes.com has a list of the most germ-filled things we encounter on a daily basis.  Some of them are obvious, like grocery carts and bathroom door handles.  Here are the top five you might not think about.

#1.)  Gas Pumps.  According to one study, 71% of them are contaminated with germs.  The best defense is just to keep some hand sanitizer in the car.

#2.)  Restaurant Menus.  They hardly ever get wiped down.  That's why you shouldn't wash your hands until AFTER you've ordered.

--The same thing goes for the little drink menus they sometimes have sitting on the table.  If you flip through it, you should wash your hands again.

#3.)  Lemon and Lime Wedges.  Researchers for the "Journal of Environmental Health" went to various restaurants and ordered 21 different drinks that came with either a lemon or a lime.

--They found a total of 25 different microorganisms living in them, including E. coli bacteria.

#4.)  Escalators.  According to a study done in New York City, they're basically covered in bacteria that can cause respiratory infections.  And you can expect the same from handrails on busses, trains, and stairways.  

#5.)  Condiment Dispensers.  That includes things like ketchup bottles and salt & pepper shakers.  They're almost never cleaned, and most people don't wash their hands before they eat.

--Apparently picking them up with a napkin doesn't really help either, because bacteria can go right through it.  So you either need to use hand sanitizer, or wash your hands afterward.




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