Germs lurk in office kitchens, break rooms

Germs lurk in office kitchens, break rooms
Sink and microwave handles are the most contaminated spots, study finds.

(HealthDay) -- Office kitchens and break rooms are germ "hotspots," and sink and microwave handles in these areas are the dirtiest surfaces touched by office workers on a daily basis, according to a new study.

Researchers collected nearly 5,000 individual swabs over six months from with more than 3,000 employees. The offices included law firms, call centers and manufacturing, health care and insurance companies.

High levels of germ contamination were found on 75 percent of break-room faucet handles, 48 percent of microwave handles, 27 percent of keyboards, 26 percent of refrigerator handles, 23 percent of water fountain buttons and 21 percent of buttons.

The Kimberly-Clark study was conducted in consultation with Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Kimberly-Clark makes .

"A lot of people are aware of the risk of germs in the restroom, but areas like break rooms have not received the same degree of attention," Gerba said in a Kimberly-Clark news release. "This study demonstrates that contamination can be spread throughout the workplace when heat up lunch, make coffee or simply type on their keyboards."

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains how to stop the spread of germs at home, school and work.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Beware of germs lurking on your desk

Jan 06, 2012

The public health message about getting a flu shot is drilled into us at this point, and this far into the season, everyone should have already have fulfilled their duty and received one.

Bedbugs can infest your office, too

Apr 20, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Add bedbugs to your list of potential occupational health hazards. A new report reveals nearly half of the employees of a U.S. government office in Tennessee were bitten by the blood-thirsty ...

Study: Emergency department computer keyboards and bacteria

Jun 03, 2010

Keyboards located in triage and registration areas were found to be more contaminated with bacteria than those in other areas of the Emergency Department at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, according to a new study conducted ...

Recommended for you

Stress markers in the unemployed linked to poor health

52 minutes ago

Research from the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies at UCL suggests direct biological effects of stress during unemployment may help explain the increased mortality and morbidity among jobseekers. The study ...

Vaccine skeptics aren't swayed by emotional scare tactics

2 hours ago

On the heels of a nationwide measles outbreak comes a report that campaigns aimed at scaring people about the consequences of non-vaccination might not be as effective as many think. An upcoming article in the journal Communication Re ...

Meal deliveries benefit seniors, report says

3 hours ago

Kali Thomas, assistant professor (research) of health services, policy, and practice, has shown that meal deliveries can help seniors stay in their homes and save some states money, but in a new report she ...

US dietary guidelines focus on curtailing sugar

4 hours ago

The latest word from an advisory panel that helps form U.S. dietary guidelines confirms what nutritionists have been saying in recent years: Cholesterol-rich foods like eggs and shrimp aren't as bad for us ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.