Would you eat your dinner off your toilet seat? That’s just abominable and outright disgusting! Did I hear you say? But maybe you should think again.
Dr Chuck Gerba, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Arizona, studies how diseases are transferred through the environment. This involves swabbing household items and measuring how many bacteria – and what sort – develop.
He particularly looks for faecal bacteria such as E.coli and staphylococcus aureus. E.coli is an indicator bacterium, and may not itself cause horrible diseases, but indicates faeces is around, which might contain other organisms like salmonella and shigella which are really deadly.
What should get you more worried are other household items, it seems. Usually, there are about 200 times more faecal bacteria on the average cutting board than on a toilet seat. Who would have thought!
In the kitchen, these bacteria do not necessarily get there through actual contact with faeces. Rather, they come via raw meat products or from inside the animal where a lot of the faecal bacteria originate.
The reason this is the case is because the average person fears the dirtiness of the toilet seat so much as to regularly clean it; perhaps this is the course of action that should be taken with regard other household items if you want them to harbour less bacteria.
Yet, the chopping board still has nothing on the kitchen sponge or cloth as the filthiest item in the house. There are about 10 million bacteria per square inch on a sponge, and a million on a dishcloth. In other words, a kitchen sponge is 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat, and a dishcloth is 20,000 times dirtier. This is the same the world over.
Also, many people don’t realise they are talking dirty every time they pick up their phone, because they never clean it. The average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than on a toilet seat.
What about a Public Restroom?
When you are out using a public restroom, there are a few things you should consider doing when it’s time to visit a stall.
- Because most people seek privacy by going to the stalls in the back of the bathroom, you will find fewer bacteria in the first stall. And ladies should never put their bags on the floor.
- Reason is that faecal bacteria was found on about 30 percent of the bottom of women’s purses. So you may be moving bacteria from the bottom of the restroom floor to maybe the kitchen sink area.
- It is also advisable not to use the sanitary hand dryer because you actually end up with more bacteria, because they are taking the air in the restroom and blowing it onto your hands with the bacteria on it, said Gerba.
- Also, once your hands are clean, there’s no need to worry about the door handle, because the cleanest areas in the bathroom are actually the door handle and the toilet seat. This is because those are the two spots people fear and avoid the most.
If this isn’t an eye opener, tell me what is!