Study: Break rooms and kitchens are ‘hot-spots’ for workplace germs

By: June 5th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

It’s not the office restrooms that you have worry about, but rather that microwave oven door handle that hasn’t been cleaned in who-knows-when.

A study by Kimberly-Clark Professional and Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona found: “The place where U.S. workers eat and prepare their lunch topped the list of office germ “hot-spots.” Sinks and microwave door handles “were the dirtiest surfaces touched by office workers on a daily basis.”

The study tested office buildings accommodating 3,000 workers in a variety of businesses, including manufacturing facilities, law firms, insurance companies, call centers, and…you guessed it…healthcare companies.

According to the study, office surfaces found to have high levels of contamination include:

  • 75% of break room sink faucet handles
  • 48% of microwave door handles
  • 27% of keyboards
  • 26% of refrigerator door handles
  • 23% of water fountain buttons
  • 21% of vending machine buttons

While personal space items such as computer mice and desk phones had lower levels of contamination, the study found that 50% of these items were in need of cleaning.


By suzanne reilly, rdh on June 6th, 2012 at 11:08 am

“you’ve got time to lean; you’ve got time to clean”.


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