At this time of year, it is common to get sick. Running nose, sore throat, or full blown flu – these afflictions are to some degree unavoidable. However, there are some steps you can take to avoid or at least minimise your chances of falling ill. Read on to find out the 7 Worst Places for the Spread of Bacteria – Some of them are surprising! 

7 Worst Places for the Spread of Bacteria

One of the key ways to minimise your chances of falling ill is through excellent hygiene and reducing your exposure to bacteria. You may be aware of some of the common places that spread bacteria, but others will likely surprise you. Let’s take a look at the worst places for the spread of bacteria.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is probably the worst place in the home or office for the spread of bacteria. We often think of our bathrooms harbouring germs and bacteria, which they do – more on this later. However, the kitchen actually is home to more pathogens. This is because of the germs produced by the food we prepare there, particularly raw meat.

The worst spots for bacteria in the kitchen are the sink, the counter and your kitchen sponge. Reusing the same sponge over and again simply spreads more germs around. Instead, clean the sink and surfaces regularly with disposable disinfectant wipes, or switch your cloths daily. One spot you may not have thought about is the kitchen tap. The end of the faucet is a magnet for germs, because the constant moisture makes the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. So remember to clean this regularly too!

Your Toothbrush

This is probably something you don’t want to hear… But your toothbrush could be one of the most germ-infested items in your house. One study found that the tooth brush holder had the second-highest concentration of germs of any household item. This was second only to the kitchen dish cloth. 

Mum and daughter brushing teeth - Worst Places for the Spread of Bacteria
Happy family! Mother and daughter child girl are brushing teeth toothbrushes in the bathroom.

Make your toothbrush more hygienic by soaking the head of the toothbrush in mouthwash for 15 minutes. Also keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet when flushing as possible. Additionally, always close the toilet when flushing. It is also a great idea to get a dishwasher safe toothbrush holder and wash it once or twice a week in the dishwasher on a sanitising cycle.

Your Mobile Phone

You may not think about your mobile phone being a breeding ground for bacteria, but this makes a lot of sense. After all, you handle your phone all the time. So, you transfer all the germs from everything else you are handling to it too. Not to mention it often being so close to your mouth, which is another key place for transferring infections.

Research has shown that mobile phones commonly carry a range of bacteria. Including staph that can cause skin infections, pseudomonas causing eye infections. Additionally, salmonella, the cause of severe digestive issues. Avoid this by cleaning your phone with a disinfectant wipe three or four times a week.

7 Worst Places for the Spread of Bacteria – Which Ones Surprised You?

The Workplace

It’s not just your home and personal belongings you need to worry about. Your workplace can be a haven for a large range of germs and bacteria too. The worst areas in the office include the phones, desks, computer keyboard, and the bathrooms.

Good workplace hygiene should include using antibacterial wipes to sanitise office equipment every day. As well as regularly washing your hands with antibacterial soap or hand sanitiser. Organisations also need to play their role by ensuring proper cleaning services and adequate supplies of soap, hand towels and so on.

The Supermarket

When you head to do some shopping in a big, modern supermarket, germs and bacteria is probably the last thing on your mind. However, grocery stores and supermarkets can harbour a large range of bacteria. This is because of their fresh produce, meat and dairy products. Additionally, the large number of people coming through and transferring germs through their hands contributes to this. One study found that supermarket trolleys have a 72% chance of carrying faecal bacteria.

boy handling bread in supermarket - Worst Places for the Spread of Bacteria

There is not much you can do to eliminate this bacteria in your environment. However, you can minimize its impact on you by avoiding touching your mouth or eyes while in the supermarket, and clean or sanitise your hands as soon as you leave. It is also a good idea to wipe your trolley (the handles and the child seat) with a disinfectant wipe before you use it.

Hospitals and Medical Centres

When you head to the doctors’ office or hospital, the last thing you want to do is be exposed to more germs. However, these places contain a large number of bacteria. Unsurprising, given they are full of sick people!

Avoid touching the reading material in the waiting room, because most germs are passed on via the hands. Similarly, don’t touch the arm rests and don’t let your children play with the toys provided. Again, wash and sanitise your hands afterwards!

Public Bathrooms

You’re probably not surprised that public bathrooms are an epicentre of bacteria. However, it is good to be aware that pretty much every surface is likely full of germs, even if the bathrooms are cleaned regularly. 

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is clean your hands extremely thoroughly before leaving a public bathroom. Followed by not touching any surfaces afterward. Motion-activated taps are best, but if these are not available, use a paper towel to turn off the tap. 

Finally, if this 7 Worst Places for the Spread of Bacteria post was helpful, check out my post on allergy symptoms.

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