Forbes.com has a list of the most germ-filled things we encounter on a daily basis. Some of them are obvious, like grocery carts and bathroom door handles. Here are the top five you might not think about…
1. Gas Pumps- According to one study, 71% of them are contaminated with germs. The best defense is just to keep some hand sanitizer in the car.
2. Restaurant Menus- They hardly ever get wiped down. That’s why you shouldn’t wash your hands until AFTER you’ve ordered.
The same thing goes for the little drink menus they sometimes have sitting on the table. If you flip through it, you should wash your hands again.
3. Lemon and Lime Wedges- Researchers for the “Journal of Environmental Health” went to various restaurants and ordered 21 different drinks that came with either a lemon or a lime.
They found a total of 25 different microorganisms living in them, including E. coli bacteria.
4. Escalators- According to a study done in New York City, they’re basically covered in bacteria that can cause respiratory infections. And you can expect the same from handrails on busses, trains, and stairways.
5. Condiment Dispensers- That includes things like ketchup bottles and salt & pepper shakers. They’re almost never cleaned, and most people don’t wash their hands before they eat.
Apparently picking them up with a napkin doesn’t really help either, because bacteria can go right through it. So you either need to use hand sanitizer, or wash your hands afterward.