Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Germ debate: Toilet versus desk

July 22, 2010
SEATTLE – Cleaning researcher and microbiologist Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona has concluded that people are safer to eat off a toilet seat than the average office desk, according to Food Safety News.
It is estimated that the number of bacteria per square centimeter on a desk is 400 times greater than on a toilet seat, added the article.
Although Gerba advises the public to refrain from eating off of either surface — desk and toilet — he offered some tips to help workers reduce the need for sick days, noted the article.
According to Gerba, cleaners should regularly sanitize surfaces with disinfecting wipes, which has been shown to reduce office worker sick days by up to 30 percent and by more than 50 percent in schools.
In addition, Gerba said: "There are more fecal bacteria in your kitchen sink than in your toilet after you flush it. People nuke their bathrooms, but not their kitchens."
And, added Gerba, there is 200 times more E. coli on an average cutting board than on a toilet seat. "It''s safer to make a sandwich on a toilet seat than on a cutting board in the average home."
In an office, the most germ-ridden areas include the phone, desktop, computer keyboards and mice, stated the article.
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