Microshield can confirm that the world is covered in poop. We speak to so many people who insist that their cleaners are good & there’s no issue with hygiene on their premises.However, the swabs we take from ‘cleaned’ surfaces tell a very different story.
Fecal bacteria can be found in many of the places you don’t expect, but not so much in the places you do. Here are some stomach-churning examples:
At the office:
A British microbiologist found traces of feces on the keyboards of two employees in a London office. And Charles A. Gerba, a University of Arizona microbiologist who has conducted dozens of these sorts of gross-out germ studies, has said that according to his research, 40 percent of office coffee mugs contain coliform bacteria, which can be found in feces.
In the kitchen:
Studies in the home environment suggest one reason swabs of office coffee mugs reveal some vile stuff: The thing you use to clean it — the everyday kitchen sponge — is one of the germiest objects you own. A 1998 study in The Journal of Applied Microbiology, co-authored by Gerba, examined the kitchens and bathrooms of 14 homes over 30 weeks. The results were about the opposite of what you might expect:“The highest concentrations of faecal coliforms were found in the sponge/ dishcloth and in the kitchen sink drain area while the lowest concentrations were found on the bathroom counter top, on the bathroom floor and on the toilet seat,” the authors write.
Also, the cutting board you use to prepare your beautiful, Instagram-worthy meals is likely filthy, too. Gerba has said the cutting boards he’s tested have, on average, about twice as much fecal bacteria as what’s found on toilet seats.
Another Gerba examination of 26 shoes found fecal bacteria on all but one. The bag or purse you carry around can pick up fecal matter, too, most often on the bottoms; the germs usually find their way there if you set your bag down on a public restroom floor. And — this will surprise no one — your phone is pretty gross: A recent study from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine researchers found fecal matter on one in six cellphones they swabbed. That same study found fecal bacteria on 16 percent of the 390 hands tested.
Oh, and then there’s this: “There’s about a tenth of a gram of poop in the average pair of underwear,” Gerba once told ABC News.
In a hotel room:
University of Houston researchers examined nine hotel rooms in three states, and found fecal bacteria on the following: the TV remote, the lamp switch by the bed, the toilet, the bathroom sink, and the sponges and mops on the housekeepers’ carts.
And pretty much everywhere else:
Climbing gyms appear to have, as one microbiologist delicately phrased it, a “fecal veneer,” an ever-so-light coating of poo covering the indoor climbing walls, according to a small 2014 study published in Current Microbiology. Gerba has found fecal matter on 72 percent of 85 shopping carts tested at grocery stores in five major metropolitan areas in the U.S.
Pretty gross huh?