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Germs in Public: The Germiest Places

Updated: Dec 11, 2020


Germs are the illness-causing bacteria that hand sanitizer functions to destroy. We need to kill germs to protect our health. Knowing where germs are found can help us protect ourselves from germs. Germs hang out in groups in the air, on surfaces, on food, and on our bodies. Some places are germier than others. As a preface, make sure to wash or sanitize your hands always before eating or handling food. This article highlights the most common places germs are found. Use this as a guide to know when you should definitely sanitize or wash your hands. You can also refer to our blog How and When to Clean Your Hands for more information.


Public Restrooms

Speaking of restaurants, here are some germy restaurant objects to watch out for. Hopefully, the restaurant you visit sanitizes their menus between each use, but this isn’t always the case. Use hand sanitizer after handling your menu, before you touch your cup, utensils, or food. Condiment dispensers often get skipped on the sanitizing. You can rub hand sanitizer on your condiment dispenser before using them or you can sanitize your hands after using them. According to Baptist Health South Florida, bar fruit can be secret germ carriers. They recommend asking for your beverage without the fruit garnish. Your plates, cups, and silverware should be sanitized and good to go.


Restaurants

Speaking of restaurants, here are some germy restaurant objects to watch out for. Hopefully, the restaurant you visit sanitizes their menus between each use, but this isn’t always the case. Use hand sanitizer after handling your menu, before you touch your cup, utensils, or food. Condiment dispensers often get skipped on the sanitizing. You can rub hand sanitizer on your condiment dispenser before using them or you can sanitize your hands after using them. According to Baptist Health South Florida, bar fruit can be secret germ carriers. They recommend asking for your beverage without the fruit garnish. Your plates, cups, and silverware should be sanitized and good to go.



Arcades

Imagine all of the germ-carrying surfaces in a room designed for touch. All of the buttons, joysticks, steering wheels and other hand-held gaming devices encounter many hands a day. It is important to sanitize your hands after each game played since these games are not sanitized in between uses.


Playgrounds

Another place meant for fun covered in germs. Similarly to arcades, playgrounds are not sanitized frequently enough to protect yourself from germs. If you or your kiddos play on playgrounds, make sure to sanitize or wash hands frequently. Web MD says “Indoor playgrounds, like those in fast-food restaurants, are shielded from the germ-killing effects of the sun.” Keep your hand sanitizer nearby when visiting a fast-food restaurant’s playground.


Grocery Carts

You may remember seeing sanitizing wipes near shopping carts. Use them! Wipe the shopping cart handle clean before grabbing the cart. Grocery stores sell items such as produce, dairy, and meat, that are known for caring salmonella, listeria, and E. coli. The conveyer belt at checkout is another germy spot. Some grocery stores sanitize their conveyor belts, but it is better to be safe than sorry. This means you should sanitize your hands after leaving the grocery store and after putting your groceries away.


Public Transportation

Germs are abundant in planes, trains, buses, subways, and every other type of public transportation. Germs are found anywhere hands go often, so pay close attention to where you place your hands. A safe practice is to refrain from touching your face while using public transportation. This is because germs easily enter our bodies through our faces. If you have to touch your face after touching a handrail, handle, or seat, sanitize your hands first.


Gas Pumps

Consider how many people a day use the gas pump you just touched. Cleaning procedures have intensified due to COVID-19 so these pumps are being sanitized more frequently than they have in the past. However, it is still important to act as though the pump has not been sanitized recently. It is better to be safe than sorry.


Germs Everywhere

Public spaces are full of germy surfaces. The list goes on and on. The seven locations highlighted above are only a fraction of the public spaces where germs can spread. A big takeaway from this blog is that we can assume any public surface that has been touched may carry germs. When touching public surfaces make sure to regularly sanitize your hands, especially before touching your face.







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