If you’re currently drinking a cup of tea or coffee in the office, you might want to put it down before you read this.
A new study has shown that having a cuppa at work could be dangerous, thanks to the germs that linger on the mugs that are shared in the office.
Research now shows that up to 90 per cent of mugs in office kitchens are covered in dangerous germs… but it gets worse.
Around 20 per cent of the cups actually have faecal matter – yep there could be poo germs on the mug you’re drinking from.
Sorry if this puts you off your tea or coffee! Here’s why the mugs are so bacteria-ridden…
Charles Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona conducted the study and found the biggest problem is washing up mugs in a communal kitchen.
He found out that because sponges in communal kitchens are rarely cleaned or replaced, the build up of germs end up all over the mugs that are being washed.
To get around the problem, it’s advised you bring your own mug in to work and then take it home in the evening to put it in the dishwasher.
It’s not just mugs we should be worried about, there are ten major hygiene hazards in the office.
Whether you work part time or full time, a lot of time is spent in the office but many people don’t clean their desks.
Research by Hassle.com showed that the number one hygiene hazard is headphones.
So if you work in customer service and you wear headphones to answer calls, make sure you clean the headphones at the end of the day.
They can accumulate germs including sweat, earwax and hair fibres which can cause illness when spread between people.
The second biggest hazard is the desk, as it contains 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat!
With tens of millions of germs all over your desk, it’s worth wiping it down before you head off home.
Do you have the nervous habit of chewing on the end of a pen? That’s the third biggest hazard for germs, as the pen is likely to have been passed around the office, so the germs from people’s hands are going into your mouth.
We all type on keyboards all day in the office so it’s no wonder they are also riddled with bacteria as bits of food get dropped in between the keys, and it harbours skin cells.
The fifth major hazard is the mouse, similar to the keyboard issue of having skin cells and sweat particles covering it.
As we go down the list the others are a little less obvious including the printer or photocopier, water cooler and office fridge.
If no one cleans the office fridge you might want to start, as mould forms easily and germs constantly build up from the various foods.
Those at the bottom of the hazards list include the microwave and the soap dispenser.
We don’t know about you but after reading all that we’re going to start wiping down every surface in sight!