OAKLAND, CA — A recent study conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba
and the University of Arizona
in a K-12 school system found that the germiest place at school is the cafeteria table, according to a press release.
Researchers from the University of Arizona
swabbed classrooms and common area surfaces at six schools in a K-12 school system to determine the relative numbers of total heterotrophic bacteria and coliform bacteria on frequently touched hard, non-porous surfaces, the release stated.
Of the top eight most contaminated surfaces out of 12 sampled in the schools, six were in common areas, demonstrating the need for a joint prevention effort among teachers, students and other school personnel, the release noted.
"Some bacteria are capable of causing infections and tend to collect on frequently touched surfaces — particularly in areas where there is a lot of hand-to-mouth contact like the cafeteria table," said Dr. Aliza Lifshitz
, internist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
and editor of VidaySalud.com
"To help your children minimize the spread of germs, encourage them to wash their hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand rub, especially when sharing school supplies or taking turns using the computer," Lifshitz added.