Drinks cans, ATMs, escalators: How dirty and germ filled are the things we touch everyday?

THE fizzy drink can, which many of us happily wrap our lips around every day, could be harbouring more germs than a toilet seat. undertook a series of cleanliness tests to check the amount of organic matter and bacteria, which could include dangerous bugs such as salmonella and E.coli, on the things we touch everyday outside the home.

E.coli, commonly found in the intestine, can indicate the presence of faeces and is a cause of food poisoning.

The results showed that the items we come into contact with on the daily commute — including grab handles on trains and buses, road crossing buttons, ATM keypads and bathroom doors, are so filthy that if the surfaces were in a supermarket or hospital they would likely be shut down by a health inspector until they were deep cleaned.

Some surfaces were 10 times dirtier than the highest recommended levels of cleanliness.

The tests were conducted by sanitation and hygiene management company EarthEcco and look for adenosine triphosphate, an enzyme in all living cells that can be used to measure hygiene levels.

EarthEcco’s CEO, Jake Tyson, said that ideally the test should have a reading of below 30 RLUs, or relative light units. “If it’s above 30 it’s not clean and you don’t want anything between 135-300 as there will be a lot of bacteria. What it tells you is this area hasn’t been cleaned properly.”

“Salmonella and E.coli are the main strains that make you sick,” he said. “You hear about cruise ships where people have been taken to hospital because of E.coli and you don’t want to pick that up because you’ll be coming out at both ends.”

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