Office kitchens are gross. People always leave their dirty mugs and plates on the surfaces. They leave their cafetiere slop in the sink. They don’t wipe up spilt milk. But it turns out that possibly the most minging thing about communal kitchens is the stash of office teabags. The average bacterial reading of an office teabag is 3,785 – compared to only 220 for a toilet seat. According to a study carried out by the Initial Washroom Hygiene, other mega-grim items include kettle handles (2,483), rims of used mugs (1,746) and fridge door handles (1,592). Oh God, so much bacteria everywhere.
Not many of us think about washing our hands after touching the office fridge…but maybe it’s time (especially as it’s peak flu season). In fact, in a poll of 1,000 workers, 80% said they wouldn’t think of washing their hands before making a brew for a colleague.
‘If you stop to think about the number of different hands that touch things such as the kettle handle, tea bag box lid, mugs, and so on, the potential for cross contamination really adds up,’ says Dr Peter Barrett of Initial Washroom Hygiene. ‘Using anti-bacterial wipes on kitchen surfaces and regularly cleaning your mug can pay huge dividends in terms of maintaining a healthy workforce.’