Scientists have discovered that communal teabags can carry up to 17 times more germs than a toilet seat, with an average bacterial reading of 3,785 in comparison to 220.
The tests were carried out by Initial Washroom Hygiene, with the results showing that office workers could be exposing themselves to way more harmful germs than they think.
In swabs for microbial levels, a kettle handle had a reading of 2,483, used mugs were 1,746, fridge handles carried 1,592 and kitchen taps registered 1,331.
And as if that wasn’t enough to stop you ever setting foot inside the staff kitchen again, a poll of 1,000 people found that four in five neglect to wash their hands prior to making tea. One in three don’t clean their vessels before topping them up and one in 20 deliberately give colleagues the “wrong mug.”
Dr Peter Barrat Of Initial believes we should all be more aware of the potential dangers lurking in our communal eating spaces.
“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,” he says.
“Using anti-bacterial wipes on kitchen surfaces and regularly cleaning your mug can pay huge dividends in terms of maintaining a healthy workforce.”
Yup, if anyone needs us – we’ll be eating our lunch outside, k thanks.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.